Essay, Research Paper: Rose For Emily By Faulkner

Literature: William Faulkner

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A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner is a remarkable tale of Emily Grierson,
whose funeral drew the attention of the entire population of Jefferson a small
southern town. Emily was raised in the ante-bellum period before the Civil War
in the south. An unnamed narrator, who is consider to be "the town" or
at least the collaborative voice of it, aligns key moments in Emily's life,
including the death of her father and her brief relationship with a man form the
north named Homer Barron. In short this story explains Emily's strict and
repetitive ways and the sullen curiosity that the towns people have shown toward
her. Rising above the literal level of Emily's narrative, the story basically
addressesthe symbolic changes in the South after the civil war. Emily's house
symbolizes neglect, and improvishment in the new times in the town of Jefferson.
Beginning with Emily Grierson's funeral, the story foreshadows the ending and
suspenseful events in Emily's life, and her other impending circumstances. A
Rose for Emily tells the tale of a young woman who lives and abides by her
father's strict sensibilities. The rampant symbolism and Falkner's descriptions
of the decaying house, coincide with Miss Emily's physical and emotional
decay,also emphasize her mental degeneration, and further illustrate the outcome
of Falkner's story. Miss Emily's decaying house, not only lacks genuine love and
care, but so douse she in her adult life, but more so during her childhood. The
pertinence of Miss Emily's house in relation to her physical appearance is
brought on by constant neglect and unappreciatation. As an example, the house is
situated in what was once a prominent neighborhood that has now deteriorated.
Originally the house was described as, “It was a big, squarish frame house
that had once been white, decorated with cupolas and spires and scrolled
balconies in the heavily lightsome style of the seventies" of an earlier
time, now many of the towns people see that the house has become "an
eyesore among eyesores". Through lack of attention, the house has
deteriorated from a beautiful estate, to an ugly desolate shack. Similarly,
Emily has also become an eyesore in the following various ways. For instance,
she is first described as a "fallen monument" to suggest her former
grandeur and her later ugliness. She might have stayed out of the public eye
after these two deaths which left her finally alone, something she was not used
to. When Emily died Jefferson lost a prominent monument of the Old South. This
story contains a high rate of symbolism thoroughly distributed and revealed by
shady foreshadowing. Just as the house has, Emily has lost her beauty. Once she
had been a beautiful woman, who later becomes obese and bloated. In this post
civil war town, the great estate and Emily had suffered the toll of time and
neglect. As the exterior, the interior of the house as well resembles Emily's
increasing decent and the growing sense of sadness that accompanies such a
downfall. All that is told of the inside of Emily's house is a dim hall, where a
staircase is mounted into descending darkness, with the house smelling of foul
odors. The combined darkness and odor of the house relate with Emily in some of
the following ways, with her dry and cold voice as if it were scrappy and dry
from disuse just like her house. The similarity between the inside of the house
and Emily extends to the mantel, where there is a portrait of her father and
Emily sitting there. Internally and externally, both Emily's building and her
body are in a state of deterioration and tarnishment like a metallic material.
An example of Emily’s unwillingness to change is when she refused to let the
"new guard" attach metal numbers above her door and fasten a mailbox
when the town received free mail service. This reflected Emily's unyielding and
stubborn persona caused by and related to her father's strict treatment of her
when she was young.
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