Analysis of Main Theme in “A Rose for Emily”
The short story “A Rose for Emily” by American author Faulkner is one of the controversial stories in the history of literature. In the story, Emily Grierson is the main character who locks herself away by the help of the society since she does not abide, recognize, or follow the society cultural rules and beliefs. The story analyses how Emily kills her lover and sleeps with the corpse throughout her life in her house and its only discovered by members of the society after her death (Faulkner 10).
The short story is used by Faulkner to explain the failure of the Southern States by revealing the immoral acts in the society. Since the story takes place in the 1930s, the government was not very serious in investigating matters affecting the society. Immoral acts took place in the presence of government watch. However, the government has changed its ways of operation since the 1900s. It has included inclusion of the intelligence service that gathers data before an atrocity has happened. The story symbolizes the failure of the society to accept change occurring and uses Emily as he symbol to reveal immorality in the society.
According to Faulkner after the war, the Southerners resisted to change by clinging to their past instead of adopting the new ways and techniques of doing things. This led to the reconstruction era in the United Sates history where the rebellious Southerners were helped to get out of slavery. This act reveals many societies in our day-to-day life. Up to , there are increased populations of the Black Americans in the Southern Sates of the United States increased due to rebellious citizens. Some communities currently prefer to stick to their outd ways, cultural beliefs and customs. In the story of “A rose for Emily,” is a symbol of the ‘inner circle’ of development. Societies with individuals existing in the ‘circle’ choose to remain locked in instead of preferring other options. According to the story all, the issues about Emily are the last days and times of the unenlightened days. At the beginning of the short story Emily house in the South was the last hold out of the stinking smell of decay. This is evident when the writer says, “Only now Miss Emily’s house was left, lifting its stubborn and coquettish decay above the cotton wagons and gasoline pump-a eyesore among eyesores” (Faulkner 9). The statement reveals that the south had been living in the dark without technology or new ideas or ways of doing things.
The dark moments in the society are reflected in the story of “A Rose for Emily,” when Emily decides to lock herself inside the house after her fathers death. Emily behaves in a way that surprises her societies members who had come pay respect to her dead father but instead of being in a mourning state she acts as if nothing had happened. She then reveals the dark side moment of the town people when she intentionally refuses to pay taxes and refers people as a man who has been dead for ten years (Faulkner 10). The societies are less concerned about the issue and she does no go to jail. In comparison to the present world, action is taken to the individuals who neglect paying the taxes. The town people do not take any action because is a reflective symbol of society and its old and unenlightened ways of handling issues concerning the society and its economy. These acts reflect how the society is not ready to let go of the wicked old ways.
The story also reflects the old day practices by overlooking on the issue of house numbers and mailboxes are being implemented and issued in town. Emily refuses to have them and plans to stick to the old malpractices. Moreover, when the next generation starts ruling over the town with their modern ideas, the issue creates dissatisfaction to some individuals within the society. Some of the southerners stick to the old south ideas. This is evident where Emily is giving China painting lessons to the children most of the south town people prefer to stick to the traditional ways by sending their kids to Emily. According to the story, most of the communities have preferred to stick to the old days.
The negligence of the society even after realizing the bad scent coming from Emily house don’t question her but they don’t question but direct their efforts to getting rid of the bad omen. This reveals how the community has opted and preferred to not mind the behavior of the neighbors but mind their own business. The death of homer Emily lover reflects the difference between the members of the society in the North and the dwellers in the South. These is reflected when Homer decides to leave Emily and move on with his life but Emily decides to poison his husband prevent hi from moving on with his life. The story reflects how some individuals prohibit others to move on and make innovations in the modern world (Faulkner 11).
The writer also used the story to bring the differences in economical might in America in the early 1900s. The story reveals that Emily at a time becomes friends with Homer Barron who is a contractor in invited in town to carry out contracts. On his arrival in town, town members start claiming that such a poor man is not suitable for Emily who has been born and brought up in a rich family. Faulkner in his story has been successful in explaining the type of discrimination that was evident in the 1930s. On the historical part of view, Americans started accumulating wealth in the earlier part of the century. In most cases, elites in society who had acquired technical and university education were the main wealthy members in the society. Homer on the other hand also resisted changing since he did not want to marry in any case. Additionally, even after being friends with Emily, he did not have any plans of marrying her.
The writer also uses the story to show how the society ignored very important matters that would later affect lives. From the story, Emily buys the arsenic, which she used as poison from a drug store (Faulkner 7). In present society, one has to give a reason as to why he/she is buying the arsenic. This fact reduces the rate of suicides and homicides. However, her neighbors claim that she used the arsenic to poison her herself and husband.
The society has also been compromised in issues where it cannot ask questions due to the reputation of the leader. From the story, Emily neighbors do not have the courage to ask questions about the strong smell emanating from her house after her father dies. Instead of confronting her, they send a stranger to her house to sprinkle line to reduce the strong smell.The writer has also emphasized racism in the story where he claims that Emily has a ‘Black’ servant who she had been carrying out all the shopping activities (LuÌˆbbe 4). This situation had emanated from the Southern culture where racism and slavery were evident. The situation is later emphasized where she refuses to pay taxes after claims her late father had been pardoned by the governor. She claims the presence of hereditary obligation in the own where chores and duties should be passed through generations. In the present world, cases of racism and slavery have been on the decrease due to government intervention. Social interaction has also reduced cases of slavery.
In conclusion, the story reflects largely how some of the societies in the modern world neglecting the modern day developments. This has technologically, politically economically and socially hindered the success of modern day communities.Works Cited
Faulkner, William . A Rose for Emily and Other Stories: A Rose for Emily; The Hound; Turn About; That Evening Sun; Dry September; Delta Autumn; Barn Burning; An Odor of Verbena. New York: Random House Publishing Group,, 2012. Print.
Faulkner, William, and Saxe Commins. A rose for Emily and other stories. New York: Random House, 2004. Print.
Faulkner, William. A Rose for Emily. Logan, Iowa: Perfection Learning Corp., 2006. Print.
Shmoop. A Rose for Emily: Shmoop Literature Guide. Mountain View, CA: Shmoop University Inc, 2010. Print.
LuÌˆbbe, Sascha. William Faulkners “A Rose for Emily” – Interpretation der narrativen Instanz. MuÌˆnchen: GRIN Verlag GmbH, 2011. Print.
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