William Faulkner A Rose for Emily Essay
Critical Response #1
Among the most read short stories of William Faulkner includes “A Rose for Emily”. William Faulkner wrote it in the year 1930 while it was published in the year 1950. This can be attributed as a gothic narration of the lifetime of Emily Grierson. It dexterously constitutes the legion struggles in the life of the main character, exemplifying the consequence of societal change on someone and the way her catastrophe is ingrained in her southern personal identity. This story depicts the miserable life of Miss. Emily from the perspective of the people of her town and may be referred as the town voice. It is well known to all individuals of the town. They set out to her funeral, mentioned in these words, “men through a sort of respectful affection” and women “out of curiosity to see the inside of her house which no one…had seen in the last ten years” (526). The anonymous narrator presents particulars concerning the strange life of Emily: the old-fashioned house, her taxes being remitted by Colonel Sartoris, tax payments demanded by the new generation, the smutty smell arriving from the Miss Emily house, her strange bond with father and afterwards with lover, holding father’s corpse within her house for 3 days while homer’s corpse for a period till her death allows people to enter and identify him. The town’s people identified that she’d been sleeping with the dead body after being poisoned with arsenic. Furthermore, the text imparts itself to diverse themes and interpretations. Miss. Emily life has been portrayed as a mystery to the residents of the town. The cautious succession of events, organizes the reader to the detection of murder and her unconventional life. In order to increase the events are not reported chronologically. Symbolism is reflected throughout the text of the story. The author continuously uses symbolism in the story. Upon the arrival of deputation, Emily own personality along with her house have been portrayed as “only Miss Emily house was left, lifting its stubborn and coquettish decay above the cotton wagons and the gasoline pumps-an eyesore among eyesores”(528), and “Her skeleton was small and spare”, these lines depict the awful portrait of miss Emily and her house appearance. Symbolism is reflected throughout the narration. The reference of miss Emily as a Fallen Monument to let the reader realize that her figure was regarded by the citizens as an aristocrat, dictator, nobility, and arrogance of people of south that trail the imperialism, and typically is a land owner. Necrophilia of Miss Emily is the last symbol used that portrays old south. Her necrophilia is a figure of her denial to change. The world for Emily is dignified, graceful, respectable-quaint and decomposed, finally morbid (Larinde 2).. The world for Baron is vulgar, vital, and inevitable. But being in love with a guy who is unacceptable to her family, she resists the opposition in a way that she kills him so that he would be always there in front of her eyes. Her defiance of death and time because of her secluded life and deformed mental state is straightforwardly related to her rearing and protected existence from her old southern father.>
Critical Response #2
Fetterley, Judith. “A Rose for ‘A Rose for Emily.'” Literature for Composition. 4th ed. Ed. Sylvan Barnet, et al. New York: HarperCollins, 1996. 193-196.
The 20th century most noteworthy novelists include the of William Faulkner, most famous for his plays and short stories. He himself was not a perfect child, gone through financial problems and was a loafer. He didn’t have a healthy association with his father so the inspirations to write came to him from his mother. She determined him through her freedom and independence. ‘A Rose for Emily’ is one of the famous short stories of William Faulkner; it depicts the tale of a lady who escapes from murder residing in the south.
Using characters, the writer provides narration of the action of people, depicted by specific traits. In ‘A Rose for Emily,’ William Faulkner depicted clearly the way Emily cherished the love for her father that lead her to the trauma upon his death that she refused to accept this fact and delivered the dead body after three days of his death, mentioned in the story as, “She told them that her father was not dead. She did that for three days, with the ministers calling on her and the doctors, trying to persuade her to let them dispose of the body” (Faulkner, p.528).
Faulkner also narrated in this short story the way Negros were disrespected in the society “The Negro met the first of the ladies at the front door and let them in, with their hushed, sibilant voices and their quick, curious glances, and then he disappeared “(Faulkner 531). Her father left him nothing except a house after death. Emily has been portrayed as a sheltered and stubborn woman who denies or may be is unable to accept the change occurring in the world surrounding her. So she stops her interactions with the outer world. Initially she lived with her father and a Negro servant but with the death of her father Tobe is all she is left with. Belonging to the noble, aristocratic family, ‘The Griersons’, Emily was brought up with this distinction in mind, dedicated as a symbol of imperialism in the southern part.
Life of Emily has been portrayed as tragic and sad. Considered tragic as Emily was made deprived of each thing and individual she loved, by fate. According to Judith Fetterley, within the patriarchal society, Emily suffers due to being a lady. Although in case of Emily, this stereotype has been utilized to achieve power over those who let gave her that role (195). Being influenced by his own mother will power, Faulkner portrayed the main character, a lady. Emily as being resolute, firm and strong enough to take taxes from the government as well as getting away with the murder of her beloved Homer (Brookes 191). So it can be said that the overall theme of the story revolves around the life of a solitary lady considered as a mysterious character by the people of the town and who restrains her life from being influenced by the societal norms and lives in a world of her own. In order to achieve the love of man she desired, she poisons him and lets his dead body reside within her house till it is discovered upon her own death.
Critical Response #3
A Rose for Emily” is a narration of a life of a lady who had a tragic history. Within this short story, Faulkner observation on social class is evident. Using the aspects of social class, secrets and gender, this story can be analyzed.
To initiate, the gender role is prominent in the story as being the main character of a lady, in “A Rose for Emily”. As depicted by Faulkner, women are the less valued part of the society and may be regarded as citizens of second class who cannot withstand a life without the existence of male members of family. Even the appearance of the character has been discussed in detail. Moreover it has been provided in this short story that despite of living a secluded life, Emily funeral was attended by the males as an honor while by females as a matter of curiosity.
The other important aspect reflected in the story is of social stratification that put hurdles in the life of Emily. She belonging to a high class was respected by the inhabitants of the south. Whereas the focus on the social belonging of her servant, Tobe as a Negro provides an insight on the way these minorities were treated in the society. Being disrespected in the way that he was not called or pronounced by his . The way Emily life is impacted in the story due to this social is relationship with Emily was frowned by the society due to his status and social stratification involved.
Making use of secrets, Faulkner reveals the story in a way that the suspense prevails till the end. As he portrays the stinky smell prevailing in the house that affected people was then detected at the end as that due to the dead body of Homer decaying in a room. Since the town people weren’t allowed to enter the house, the secret was kept hidden until the death of Emily. As depicted by, “We did not say she was crazy then. We believed she had to do that. We remembered all the young men her father had driven away, and we knew that with nothing left, she would have to cling to that which had robbed her, as people will” (Faulkner 528), Faulkner tries to utilize the art of secret as it foreshadowing her similar act on the demise of her beloved Homer. Despite utilizing various techniques, according to Hal Blythe, the act of Emily to murder her beloved was based upon the fact that she realized that he was using her and was mere a play boy (192). So she instead of letting the people know the reality of his association let him die and kept a veil over the secret behind her act.
It can be thus concluded that the aspects of social stratification, gender and secrets have played a distinct role in the analysis of this short story by William Faulkner. This may lead to the understanding of different cultural values prevailing at that period within the South America.
1. Blythe, Hal. “Faulkner’s ‘A Rose for Emily.'” Literature for Composition. 4th ed. Ed. Sylvan Barnet, et al. New York: HarperCollins, 1996. 191-193.
2. Brooks, Cleanth. “On ‘A Rose for Emily'”. Literature for Composition. 4th ed. Ed. Sylvan Barnet, et al. New York: HarperCollins, 1996. 190-191.
3. Faulkner, William. “A Rose for Emily.” In Literature: The Human Experience, 526-533. Macmillan Higher Education, 2006. Print
4. Fetterley, Judith. “A Rose for ‘A Rose for Emily.'” Literature for Composition. 4th ed. Ed. Sylvan Barnet, et al. New York: HarperCollins, 1996. 193-196.
5. Larinde, Toyin. “Biography of William Faulkner.” The Mississippi Writers and Musicians Project at Starkville High School. 11 Feb. 2000 Zane, J. Peder. “William Faulkner’s literary legacy.” 21 Sept. 1997. The News & Observer. 11 Feb. 2000 p1-8.