A Rose for Emily reveals a story of Miss Emily, a woman considered to be very lonely based on the kind of life that she chooses to live. In her life, Miss Emily is not in a position of accepting the realities of life, and lives in denial about the idea of death. Such an aspect is portrayed in the essence that when her father dies, the whole town is in expectation that Miss Emily is to be in a state of grief, but in contrary to such perception, she is not. To Emily, she believes that the father is indeed well with her, an aspect that is considered to mean that to her, the father is still alive.
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The story, A Rose for Emily has its setting in Jefferson. Despite the fact that most of his stories are set in Jefferson, it is a fact of substantive evidence that Jefferson is more of a fiction in Faulkner mind than in reality. In Jefferson, Faulkner has d his setting Yoknapatawpha County, an area that is commonly associated with Colonel Sartoris, who remains a common figure of the county. Despite the significance of the Jefferson, it remains a small town in Mississippi where a number of small families live. However, in developing the story Arose for Emily, Faulkner creates an aspect in which the town is seen as a character in the story, which ideally contributes much in the narration of the story (Faulkner and Inge 24). Basing of the fact that the story has its development in a way that the people of the town are seen as united and sharing in a number of values, the characterization of Jefferson town is then not seen as a grouping of individuals but instead as a collective force that need to be dealt with (Robinette and Faulkner 92).
The other perspective in A Rose for Emily is the atmosphere in which the story has been developed. Considering the happenings as developed in the story, it is best stated that the atmosphere is that of nonchalance. Looking clearly the manner in which various happenings take place in the story, it is clear that Emily remains an isolated lady in the town; however, nobody seems to care about that situation. Regardless of the fact that Emily is isolated, everyone else only thinks of his or her own issues without any concern given for Emily isolation (Robinette and Faulkner 64). Going by the aspect that the town is constantly referred to as ‘we,’ it is evident that it is an entity on its own addressing its own issues, a fact that leaves Emily an isolated lady. Additionally, the behavior of the town to Emily is done deliberately in preparing the story to its ending in which despite having had no interest in Emily, in her death, some element of regret is observed by the people of the town, coming to believe that indeed such a person once existed.
The story A Rose for Emily has its development in a way that an element of struggle is observed between the maintenance of traditional values and identity against the changes of the current times. The structural development is also made in such a way that there are a number of references that are made in the past (Faulkner and Inge 76). The structure is developed in such a way that the meaning of the story is made significant. Making references to the past in developing the story evidently brings about a clear meaning of the piece of work based on the fact that it is only in making references to the past against the element of change as required in the case of Emily is made evident. The pattern and structure are also substantiated by the narration. The story exhibits one of the most unique narrator points of view. Contrary to many people opinion about the story that the narrator is a male identity, it is definite that there is no place in which the narrator is referred to as a male and in most occurrences, the term ‘we’ is used in reference to the narrator (Faulkner and Inge 112). Based on such a perspective, it is clear that narrator in the story is a made up character who are the people of the town. Such a perspective makes the narration very reliable considering that the narrator has had full experience of the area and part of the occurrence. In the event that the story would have a different point of view, the actual orientation of the story would have changed based on the fact that the narration would have had a bias point of view over the situation.
The story A Rose for Emily exhibits a number of characters each having a different role to play in developing the story. However, despite the many characters in the story, Emily Grierson remains the major character. The people of the town live a changed life against the old traditions, however, for Emily Grierson; her life remains same to the traditions, which is unique to what the people are used to (Robinette and Faulkner 102). Everyone in the town tries to find the true identity of Emily Grierson as she is able to control and limit the town access to her true identity. The town works all rounds in scrutinizing Emily as various things that she does go contrary to the common practices of the town, which increases the curiosity among the people of the town. Considering her unique behavior and how she carries out her activities that remain different from the rest, Emily Grierson remains an isolated individual in the town forcing her to live a lonely life.
Despite living a life of her own, Emily does not change all through the story. The narrator brings her as a monument in the story as she tries to live a life in her own terms, which to some extent makes the people of the town to pity her; however, she never changes from such behavior. Emily remains a character with a desire to control others, a character previously held by Grierson, but after his death, Emily takes over the character and the first instance is observable when she temporarily controls Grierson body by refusing to give it up (Faulkner and Inge 109). Control is an element that Emily would go to any extent in achieving and such is evident in Homer case, in which Emily is forced to take Homer life just to have full control over her. Other than control, Emily is a non-sympathetic woman, who would do anything as long as she achieves her intentions without any regard to the feelings others would have according to her actions (Faulkner and Inge 91). Other than Emily, Homer is another character of significant important in the development of the story. Just like Emily, Homer is also an outsider in the town and therefore, he is also discussed in town. With his frequent outings with Emily, he becomes the center of attraction for many people in the town. Homer does not exhibit a proper courtship with Emily in preparation for marriage, buts instead he is seen as more attracted to fellow men and is considered as a homosexual.
In the whole story and scenarios involved, I personally identify with Emily as a major character in the play, though on the positive characters she displays. Despite the negative perception that the people of town have against her, Emily is a character that she is able to stand for what she believes in and does not change regardless of the circumstances that surround her (Faulkner and Inge 88). Emily goes to whatever extent as long as she is able to reach her dreams and requirements. Such a perspective is evident in the instance in which she portrays her controlling character against Homer.
A number of writing techniques have been used in the story A Rose for Emily. Such include symbolism, imagery, and irony among others. Symbolism has been used significantly in the story A Rose for Emily. Miss Emily house is a significant symbol used in the story, which tells of an emblem of the dying aristocracy of the Southern World (Robinette and Faulkner 98). By some extension, the house portrays the character of Emily that shows certain elements of stubbornness a character also observed in Emily. The house also exhibits some elements of mental illness and death an element of the living past. The strand of hair is also a symbol, which Emily uses as a reminder of her lost love. To another extent, the strand of hair is used to reveal the real character of Emily, which is brought out in such a way that despite the opposition she faces, she does give chance for others to give approval for her behavior and actions. Irony refers to an instance in which the outcome is in contrast to the expected. There are a number of instances in which irony has been used. First, the people of the town complain against the anti-social nature of Emily while it is the same individuals who made Emily behave the way she did. Secondly, when Emily buys the poison to kill Homer, the seller writer on the wrap ‘for rats,’ which in Emily mind is indeed the function she used the poison for, despite Homer dying from it (Robinette and Faulkner 145).
A major theme used in the story is that of the tradition versus change, which is evident in the story from the start. All through the story, there is constant struggle between maintaining the traditions and moving towards the radical changes that is observable in the current trends. Despite Emily community having experienced a number of changes, Emily remains rooted in tradition, which is ideally the major element of struggle. She is indeed a living monument of the past. The title of the story is indeed connected to a number of elements in the story. The rose used refers to life and the eventual death in the story (Faulkner and Inge 122). Other aspects include love and passion to which rose refers to. The rose is therefore, used as a symbol to Emily life and later her death, and even the death of Homer.
1. Faulkner, William, and Inge M. Thomas. A rose for Emily,. Columbus, Ohio: Merrill, 1970. Print.
2. Robinette, Joseph, and William Faulkner. A rose for Emily: a one-act play. Chicago: Dramatic Pub. Co., 1983. Print.