A Rose for Emily Summary

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A Rose for Emily Summary Example 1

A Rose for Emily’ In “A Rose for Emily,” we truly found out how strange Emily became as story went on, and how she lived a life that was secretive and hideous until the day she died. William Faulkner’s skillful use of words and time allows much insight into the life of Miss Emily without ever hinting at her struggle with death. Faulkner’s reference to the Old South and his unconventional plot lures his readers to places he wants them to be, giving them Just enough to keep them in suspense.

He uses subtle clues to foreshadow a ghastly outcome. References to smell, decay, and Miss Emilys corpse ike appearance all guide his readers to the climatic end’s ultimate irony. In choosing a simple town folk as his narrator Faulkner keeps intimacy at bay. The people in Emilys community saw her as the recluse on the hill, and would not be aware of everything occurring in her life. This would allow Faulkner his ending. Anyone closer to Emily, say for instance Toby, would know too much, and how would this cause the readers to know to much.

Faulkner’s anachronistic plot sets the reader up for he changes that occur and does not allow for a normal chain of events. Depending on nes culture and background of a reader one may point out different purposes that Faulkner might have had for writing this story. Some may say that this is a story of rebellion. Was Emily rebelling against her father’s iron will by having a “sorbid” love affair with a Yankee? Was Emily rebelling against a town that held her confined to social graces and obligations? Others may say that this is a story that hints at North and South.

Homer would represent the North, the Yankee of lower stature, while Emily would be an aristocrat of the South. Yet others may decide that the story is peaking to those desperately trying to cling to the old South. Closer analysis may indicate that “A Rose for Emily’ is a story about time and fallen monuments. Miss Emily was a great fgure of her town, an aristocrat. All the townspeople looked at her as a role model for the community, as an “idol,” so why did Faulkner not put Miss Emily, instead of Just plain ole Emily. As time passed Emilys status would begin to damper with the next generation, with it’s more modern ideas, became mayors and aldermen, she became Emily instead of Miss Emily,” assuring a fall from grace, social race. Time seems to be the essence of the story, that little thing that many sections have in common. Emily sees herself as exempt; She was exempt from taxes, so she was exempt from time. Faulkner’s changing descriptions of Emily, the next more degrading than the one before, show Emilys physical submission to time.

Emily changes from a slender girl to a tragic and serene girl after her father’s death into a “bloated” fgure after Homer’s “disappearance. ” These descriptions show Faulkner’s contrast between past and present, She may be against change, but even she can not ombat the effect of aging, growing steadily older: “the next few years” her hair “grew grayer and grayer until it attained an even salt and pepper iron gray, when it stop turning. ” At Emilys father’s death we again see a clue from the present that foreshadows the grim future.

The “town narrator” comments “We did not say she was crazy then,” hinting perhaps “we” do say she is crazy now or will say she is crazy. Finally, we can say that “A Rose for Emily’ is a story about time by simply looking at uniforms. ” “Time with it’s mathematical progression, as the old do, to whom all the ast is not a diminishing road but, instead, a huge meadow which no winter ever touches, divided from them now by the narrow bottle-neck of the most recent decade of years,”, Just as these men, Emily was not exempt from the effects of time.

She attempted to stop time, to retreat into the past, taking Homer with her “in the only way that she could. ” Source Cited Faulkner, William. ” A Rose for Emily. ” Apr. 30, 1930. “bloated” figure after Homer’s “disappearance. ” These descriptions show Faulkner’s the historical depiction of men frozen in time “in their brushed confederate Faulkner, William. ” A Rose for Emily. ” Apr. 30, 1930.

A Rose For Emily Point Of View Example 2


The story titled “A Rose for Emily,” which is written by William Faulkner, has a grim tone. The tone of the story is grim, because of the subject of death and aging towards a natural death, and the emphasis on grim details throughout the entire story. The tone of the story is grim, also because of the focus on only the subject of death and aging, and not just the aging of the main character in the story, but also of the other characters in the story, such as where it speaks about how the “Negro” grew grayer and more stooped, going in and out of the home with the market basket.

We can discern that the tone of the story is grim, because its thesis is laid out in the beginning paragraphs, including the first. Its thesis focuses on the death, dying and aging process of Miss Emily Grierson. Its thesis details grim and negative aspects of her dying and aging process. An example of the grim tone of the story in the beginning paragraphs of the story, is that it speaks of the funeral of Miss Emily Grierson and further focuses on her home being in decay and being an eyesore, and not just any eyesore, but an “eyesore among eyesores.”

Another way we can discern the grim tone of the story is how it focuses on the details of the yellowing mold on the pillow of Miss Emily Grierson, and how it focuses on other details like the instances of describing dust throughout the story and also similarly describing of the rusty and harsh voice of the “Negro” from disuse. The tone of the story is seen in every detail of the story, especially such as the description of the voice of the aged “Negro” as rusty and harsh from disuse, it is similar to descriptions of dust and things being dusty.

Dust accumulates from disuse. And this is similar to the description of the exterior of the home, deteriorating from disuse. He also describes the pillow of the deceased Miss Emily Rose as yellow with mold, clearly from disuse. Furthermore, the entire story clearly shows a consistent grim tone. The disordered sequence of the narrative makes it compelling, because it jumps to events rather than bore us with transitions from one event to another.

It makes it interesting and compels us in each part of the sequence of the narrative to draw our attention to the event and its details. Furthermore, the narrative’s disordered sequence makes it compelling by showing both the ordered and disordered nature of life itself, and describing life as disordered within the narrative itself, yet still maintaining a description of order. An example of this is how it points out details of routine and ordered life at the home of Miss Emily Grierson, while at the same time contrasting with the decay of her life and home from many aspects.


A Rose For Emily Essay Example 3


The paper is about an individual versus the society within the context of the book ‘A Rose for Emily’. Every individual has his or her own role and impact over the society and the relationship with the members of the society. The centralized theme of William Faulkner’s story “A Rose for Emily” is to leave your past and move on. The character Emily possesses the ability to be stuck with the past and has a refuses to show independency in her nature.

All through the story the author with the help of symbols used to inter relate the period of re-construction of the South. The story has been viewed as an allegory of southern history, a metaphorical depiction of North-South relationships, feminist nightmare or feminist victory, a gothic horror story, a sociological picture of individualism ruined or individualism successful, a depressing fictional tale. As a rose is proof that love once flourished, as looking at and holding that preserved rose are ways to revive precious memories, so is Homer Barron to become such a token for Miss Emily.

Thesis statement The paper is based on the theme of individuals versus the society and explained within the context of the book ‘A Rose for Emily’ by William Faulkner. The different behaviors of people with the passage of time and the complexity of feelings within their relationships have a strong impact on the society.


I. “Harsh splitting in the society amounts to the splitting of the human ego” (Doi, 2001, p. 89). People become very conservative and less friendly when they do not socialize and meet other people in the society. In return, the society feels that person is arrogant and come up with different scandals about the person. All humans are social animals and any individual who does not get along with the members of the society is less regarded as a normal person and becomes a target of people’s criticism. In the context of ‘A Rose for Emily’, the townsfolk make assumptions that she is living in isolation because she is getting older and did not settle down with a husband in her early adult life.

II. “It is sometimes said that society carries the individual as a river carries a boat” (Emerson, 1870, p. 113) In youth Emily is not wholly separated from her somewhat sympathetic environment. In later life, however, she withdraws more and more until her own death again exposes her to the townspeople. With the passage of time people withdraw themselves from the rest of the members of the society and start living alone and away from other social activities. They society has a major impact on an individual and the individual has a major impact on the society. We cannot cut off ourselves from the society and in the end we have to be a part of them.

Miss Emily denies the fact that her father has died at all. She continues this denial for three days until she finally allows the burial of the body—under the threat of legal actions. Miss Emily’s actions upon this first major death in her life suggest the danger of remaining stuck in this first stage of grief for an extended period, and foreshadow the irrational approach that Miss Emily takes toward her later relationship with Homer Barron. Miss Emily denied so many of the human connections that life offers, unwilling or unable to function in terms of everyday society.

III. “The community does not achieve order by suppressing the individual but by nourishing the person” (Kern, 2010, par.22). One can imagine that, had Miss Emily been a poverty-stricken unfortunate when her father died, and had since remained unmarried, the town’s general reaction to her situation might have included more empathetic responses. The society had sympathies for Emily and looking at her miseries they had built a soft corner for her. Being a human being Emily was in need of emotional and moral support and to fulfill this need the people around her were ready to comfort her rather than leave her to suffer her miseries.

Emily being a female was a weak person and that is the main reason she was facing depression because of the mishaps of her life. The town has remained fascinated by Miss Emily throughout her life, and only upon her death are the townspeople able to begin to satisfy some of their curiosity about the woman who held such a respected place in Jefferson County. The moment of revelation comes when we find, along with the townspeople, the long-deceased body of Homer Barron that lies in Miss Emily’s wedding bed, kept in a posture of love.

IV. “A large number of studies suggest that poor social support is associated with mental health problems, such as depression”. Living alone and away from the social circle and communities can create situations where a person can have mental health problems. Just like Miss Emily was facing serious depression and stress in her life. She did not want to meet people or socialize with them and always wanted to live alone and away from everyone. Thus, it is understood that Miss Emily, at this point, short and thick. In addition, at the same point, her voice is described as “cold and dry” (Faulkner, 18). Dry means not sufficient water.

This can be compared and because of Miss Emily, not having enough contact with other people and not feeling loved or needed. She was a rose, but being inactive with people made it difficult for them to see the real Miss Emily. After being locked up for such a long time and having no friends, who would not ultimately go crazy. Because of her father’s intervention with previous suitors, Emily has passed the usual age for courting when Homer Barron arrives in town sometime after her father’s burial. Emily needs love so desperately that she is willing to bend and perhaps even flaunt tradition when she allows Homer Barron to court her.

V. “Economic hardships means new challenges for women” (Hillier and Barrow, 2010, p.85) Hardships, problems and sufferings for a woman are increased when she is alone and broke. Her father did not leave behind any money for her survival neither she had any life partner with whom she could share her burdens of life. She was a woman, yet, the man of the house. Her sufferings made her feel alone and she no longer wished to live her life the way she used to live when her father was alive. Miss Emily kept herself locked away from society for so long that “rose” color faded and dust collected. In the story, Miss Emily’s central character trait is denial of change.

She writes on “note paper of an archaic shape” in “faded ink.” She insists that Colonel Sartoris, who “had been dead almost ten years,” will explain why she pays no taxes. She refuses for three days to admit that her father is dead. She wants to keep him as she has known him instead of allowing him to return to dust. The Baptist minister calls upon Miss Emily to take to task her for the disgrace to the town caused by her affair with the Yankee Homer Barron. Conclusion

“A Rose for Emily” highlights the ways in which human beings function in socially stratified communities, commenting on the social mores that class depends upon as well as the psychological and sociological consequences Emily is a lifeless “Southern Belle” whose life has faded beyond recognition as a rose fades without nutrients. She has fallen into bad condition just as her house has become a decaying shack. A woman who waited long for a complete life filled with love and adventure, ended in a tragic death.

Miss Emily slipped into a fog of depression and isolation when she realized her life would not continue with Homer as she had thought. Simply put, Miss Emily lost her sanity. Faulkner ends the tale of Miss Emily’s life with a narration surrounding the scene of her death and, in doing so, suggests the very important role that this phenomenon plays in how we come to know and understand this character.


A Rose For Emily Example 4


Abcarian and Klotz define the Human Condition as, “Man strives to give order and meaning to his life, to reduce the mystery and unpredictability that constantly threaten him. Life is infinitely more complex and surprising than we imagine, and the categories we establish to give it order and meaning are, for the most part, “momentary stays against confusion. ” At any time, the equilibrium of our lives, the comfortable image of ourselves and the world around us, may be disrupted suddenly by something new, forcing us into painful reevaluation.
These disruptions create pain, anxiety, and even terror but also wisdom and awareness. ” The above quote states that all people learn by the same process. Initially there is a disruption. This is followed by an emotional response. The emotional response calls for action which will rectify the disruption. Once this is done, the person gains knowledge from the experience.

Emily in the short story, “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner (rpt. In Thomas R. Arp and Greg Johnson, Perrine’s Literature: Structure, Sound and Sense, 10th ed. Boston: Wadsworth, 2009] 526-534) is an example of a character who is altered by an aspect of the Human Condition. Emily’s disruption was the death of her father. Emily did not do well with change, and her fathers death was a painful disruption that she had to figure out how to deal with. Before he passed away, her family held themselves higher than everyone else in town. Emily felt as though no men were good enough for her, thus she wound up thirty and alone. Once her father passed away, all she had left was the house he left her.

Now she was no longer superior to the towns people, she was humanized. Her emotional response was her state of denial. After his death, the ladies of the town stopped by to offer their condolences and aid, but Miss Emily told them straight-faced that her father was not dead. She convinced herself that her father had not passed away, and for 3 days she refused to let the ministers and doctors bury his body. After they finally took away his corpse, she denied the change by remaining in her house and refusing to go outdoors.

The action she took was meeting a new man. After a while of being sick and staying inside her house, she took a liking to a construction worker, Homer Barron, and began appearing in public again. On Sunday afternoons she would be seen driving with Homer, and the towns people began to talk. A year later, she was seen out purchasing arsenic at the drugstore, claiming she was using it for rats. The towns people heard that Miss Emily had been to the jeweler’s and ordered a man’s toilet set in silver, with the letters H. B on each piece.

A coupled days later they learned that she had bought a complete outfit of men’s clothing, including a night shirt, so they concluded that the two were married. The last anyone saw of Homer Barron was when he entered Miss Emily’s house at dusk one evening. For six months after that, she did not appear on the streets. The knowledge she gained was to learn to be controlling. She temporarily controlled her father after he passed away by refusing to give up his body, and she manipulated and controlled Homer because he was the object of her desire.

She had an issue with controlling things and people around her, and found change unbearable. She would not allow anyone to tell her what to do, she followed her own traditions by living in her own timeless world. Emily was altered by an aspect of the Human Condition because she experienced the disruption of her fathers death, had an emotional response which was her state of denail, met Homer Barron as her action, and gained knowledge from the experience by learning to be controlling.


The Symbols of “A Rose for Emily” Example 5


The symbols of “A Rose for Emily”

Symbols in the story enrich meaning expanding the possibilities for interpretation and for reader’s interaction with the text. The symbols in this story, the house and the watch, potentially have the power to open up the texts in the whole story. The two symbols in “A Rose for Emily” build to a memorable conclusion of the whole story. In the entire story, the sense of something being a miss is ever present. One of the symbols is Emily’s watch. Emily uses it as a means to control time and, in the same context, time always haunts her. There are several ways to look into how time functions in the story. In this context, time is symbolized by something else like the marks of decay or a watch.

The events in the story are fractured and disjointed so that time does not proceed in a linear fashion. It is clear that Emily’s attempts to stop time failed. Since in the story Emily is shown as a woman living in the past, the readers of the story will assume that the presence of the watch is made to ensure the impression that she cannot see that time in the wath has moved on. The picture the pale plump woman in the musty room with the watch invisibly ticking does indeed suggest that she has been left back in time and that she remains unaware of the progress around her. The watch as a symbol enriches both the depiction of the character and the story’s theme.

The second symbol in “A Rose for Emily” is her house. The house acts as a symbol of the South’s past glory as well as a refuge, a fortress, and a hiding place. The house represents society with its rules, norms, and limitations. The house’s “stubborn and coquettish decay” serves as a reminder of a way of life that is dead but unburied. William Faulkner takes the symbol of the big house again to stand for class, wealth, and prestige. The house, on the other hand, is rotting at its foundation and the only occupants are Miss Emily Grierson and her silent Black Butler who rarely comes out of the house.

The role of symbols

The symbols serve as a presentation of the assumption that the past which was slavery can be forgotten in the present. The symbols help us to follow the story fairlyy closely and watch the narration of events as they unfold. This is not only because of Emily’s refusal to adjust and change but because of the incredible changes in the world around her which leaves her behind as a relic. The watch and the house in the story have their basis in Emily’s feeling of being different and better than the ordinary men and women, but her real reactions are described in terms of the motivation in individual and social psychology that the story portrays.

Through the symbols, Emily becomes an emblematic picture of a lost cause of good old days, of a time when women knew their place and had few if any outlets for their anger and frustration they face in life. As for the narration, the symbols inform very special use of a first person plural narrator and perspective on the events like funeral. They also depict the oppression and deprivation seen in Emily’s situation shared by many female characters. Her opposition to change and the importance of time and change in the story are clearly shown through the symbols. Through the symbol of watch it is clearly shown that Emily refuses to accept the passing of time or change at any point of time.


Summary and Analysis of William Faulkner’s, “A Rose for Emily” Example 6

William Faulkner’s most famous, most popular, and most anthologized short story, “A Rose for Emily” evokes the terms Southern gothic and grotesque, two types of literature in which the general tone is one of gloom, terror, and understated violence. The story is Faulkner’s best example of these forms because it contains unimaginably dark images: a decaying mansion, a corpse, a murder, a mysterious servant who disappears, and, most horrible of all, necrophilia – an erotic or sexual attraction to corpses.

The short story centers on Miss Emily Grierson, an aristocratic woman deeply admired by a community that places her on a pedestal and sees her as “a tradition, a duty” – or, as the unnamed narrator describes her, “a fallen monument.” In contrast to the community’s view, we realize eventually that Miss Emily is a woman who not only poisons and kills her lover, Homer Barron, but she keeps his rotting corpse in her bedroom and sleeps next to it for many years. The ending of the story emphasizes the length of time Miss Emily must have slept with her dead lover: long enough for the townspeople to find “a long strand of iron-gray hair” lying on the pillow next to “what was left of him, rotted beneath what was left of the nightshirt” and displaying a “profound and fleshless grin.”
Although your first reaction to the story might be one of horror and disgust, Faulkner uses two literary techniques to create a seamless whole that makes the tale too intriguing to stop reading: the suspenseful, jumbled chronology of events, and the narrator’s shifting point of view, which emphasizes Miss Emily’s strength of purpose, her aloofness, and her pride, and lessens the horror and repulsions of her actions.


Rose For Emily Examples 7


In his article entitled “A Rose for Emily,” Donald Akers states that this short story will “remain a remarkable, provocative work regardless of the critical approach. ” Akers described Emily as a weird character because of her refusal to pay taxes in the story and telling the tax collectors to discuss her taxes with a dead man.

The man had been dead for ten years, and she was pretending he was alive. The author states that Emily’s being weird may appear throughout her whole family, and that being strange may have been passed on to her.Akers statement that Emily’s great-aunt, Old lady Wyatt, was crazy proves just that. Akers blamed Emily’s weirdness on her father.

He stated that because her father would not let her date, she rebelled after he was dead by choosing a man out of her social class. She then would not let Homer leave, and did so by killing him. Akers said that, “the discovery of a strand of her hair on the pillow next to the rotting corpse suggest that she slept with the cadaver or, even worse, had sex with it. The critic’s statement is what helps the reader comprehend that Emily is psychologically off.Akers later questions if Emily may be a tragic heroine in the story.

He questions this because she is described as being an idol two times throughout the short story, and even though she poisons Homer, she is seen as, “a victim of her circumstance. ” Those statements of Akers seem to match what Faulkner may think of Emily, based on his chosen title, “A Rose for Emily. ”


Rose For Emily Examples 8


First person narration can be used in many different ways. It could be from the lips of the main character, or it can be from an outside source. In the story “A Rose For Emily by William Faulkner the story is told in a “First people” narration. A First person narration is a narrative mode where a story is narrated by one character at a time, speaking for and about them.

In this particular story there are many different points of views on the main character Emily Grierson. There is constant Gossip about Miss Emily Grierson that happens in this story to give us a clear understanding of our main character.Also the town focuses on the issue of Emily not paying her taxes, and the issue of her buying the poison. With The town of Jefferson is the narrator through out this story, giving it a first person narration style. In “A Rose for Emily” Faulkner begins the story with the death of Miss Emily Grierson, giving the reader the first glimpse into the main character of the story. By using an objective point of view an author turns the reader into a jury, so that the reader is able to interpret the story, and draw conclusions when given enough information.

An Objective point of view is when the narrator assumes the position of an observer, detached from the narrative. Faulkner decidedly chose this point of view to intimately show how gossips think. Only from this view could we hear their negative thoughts they have of Emily. The town gives the reader an impression of our main character. “When miss Emily Grierson died, our whole town went to her funeral: the men through a sort of respectful affection for a fallen monument”(21). Emily coming from a well known popular family the town was always concerned with the family’s actions.

After many generations the town began to lose hope in the family because of their attitude. With the town losing hope in the family it gives us the point of view that Emily Grierson is not an icon in the town, but is indeed a fallen monument. The use of gossip was told in many first person character speculations. When the town learns that Miss Emily had purchased arsenic, they started to gossip by saying, “So the next day we all said, ‘She will kill herself’; Then we said, ‘She will persuade him yet’ Miss Emily could have purchased the arsenic to kill herself, because of the lack of love, or to kill Homer Barron to keep him with her.When Emily buys the arsonic“for rats” the issues begins to seem clearer; it’s ironic for her to buy arsenic for rats because the town is always talking about her ratting on her. We begin to understand that Emily is not all there, and had issues letting things go.

Nevertheless the town complains that the Griersons “held themselves a little too high. ” But even this criticism is softened: Recalling when Miss Emily and her father rode through the town the narrator grudgingly admits “a tradition, a duty, and a care; a sort of hereditary obligation upon the town” (29).With the tradition of the Grierson’s they would not pay their taxes showing how they considered themselves better than the rest of the town. “I received the papers, yes Miss Emily said. Perhaps he considers himself the sheriff…I have no taxes in the town of Jefferson.

” (22) The narration style gives us this point of view that Miss Emily was a sad, and disturbed woman. The narrator is present for all the scenes that take place in the story, but does not play any role in the events, and speaks for the town as a whole.By using the “we” narrator, Faulkner creates a sense of closeness between readers and his story. The narrator-as-the-town judges Miss Emily as a fallen monument, but simultaneously as a lady who is above reproach, who is too good for the common townspeople, and who holds herself superior. With Faulkner limiting his narration to omniscience he is able to tell the story as a mystery; this is both logical as the story is told by the town not the main character. With the town it gives the reader drama, and suspense to the story.

While the narrator obviously admires her townspeople resent her arrogance and her superiority; longing to place her on a pedestal above everyone else, at the same time they wish to see her dragged down in disgrace. Many things separate the Griersons from the common townspeople, but it was Emily arrogance that makes people despise her. Once the rest of the community begins to lose hope for Emily they begin considering her as an “eyesore” giving the reader the imagery that she had let herself go. The home of Miss Emily is a symbol of wealth which reflects the idea that communities single out and isolate others on their economic status.The narrator assumes an objective viewpoint, allowing the reader to know what is occurring be describing it from the outside. Although Miss Emily’s inner thoughts are not revealed, the narrator has still expressed her Struggles.

She plans to murder this becomes clear, and her inability to let go of the people who she loved. This story would not be reliable from Emily Griersons point of view because we know she is not mentally stable. When Emily’s father had died she would not let the body be taken for a few days claiming her father isn’t dead. With no trace of grief on her face. She told them that her father was not dead.

She did that for three days. ” (23)’ The narrator specifically leaves out any comments of sadness or grief the town might have felt, either to focus on their obsession with gossip or simply because they didn’t feel anything at all. With an insane main character the reader knows that the town is the most reliable source of narration.Even though we are giving first person gossip; in the end it becomes clear that Emily did kill Homer Baron and would sleep next to his body being a necrophiliac.

That faint and invisibly dust dry and acrid in the nostrils, we saw a long strand of iron gray hair. ” (26) Proving that Emily would sleep next to dead people. This shows the negative, realistic form that gossip takes as the townspeople watch Miss Emily’s life intently only for the purpose of criticizing and judging her. The story finishes with the dramatic close in which the townspeople go into Emily’s house and find Homer Barron’s dead body in one of the bedrooms. The narrator starts the story with death and ends with death, focusing not on the happy, fulfilling aspects of life, but only on the dramatic.A Rose for Emily has a very interesting and deep point of view.

There is no purpose or reason for the town of Jefferson to have issues with the Grierson. Faulkner taught many lessons with Emily’s life, but none so clear as the cruel and heartless feeling that is gossiping. He ends this fabled story and then we are called to wonder why it is titled “A Rose for Emily” when no roses are mentioned, and especially not for Emily. She died and the town went to her funeral, not out of charity and not leaving even a single rose for her.


Rose For Emily Examples 9


The one you love and the one who loves you are never, ever the same person. Said chuck Palanuick, however what if they are just one person? What if, you only love one person in your entire life and that same person is the only person who loves you also? Is that even possible? Well, William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily” reassures us that, yes it is possible. “A Rose for Emily,” is a very interesting and unusual short story, I find this story very creepy and my reaction was just complete shock. The story is written backwards, meaning the reader reads the future to the past, which makes it more confusing.

As a reader I have to be actively reading the story or I will miss something which I did the first time reading through it. Being written the way it was, the story gives more frightening feeling that attracts the reader in. ‘A Rose for Emily’ opens at the time of protagonist Emily Grierson’s death. The entire community attends Emily’s funeral, but no one really knew Emily. I assume that the narrator is one of the townspeople. Emily seldom went out, and died alone at age 74. Her entire existence was a whole mystery for the townspeople.

Emily’s father sheltered her a lot as a child. She wasn’t allowed to do much of anything. She was always expected to behave nobly since her family was part of the aristocrat’s. By the time of her father’s death the town felt bad for Emily. Also, out of respect for Emily’s deceased father, the town made an exemption for Emily in paying the town’s taxes. All her father had left was the house. The townspeople express their condolences about her father’s death however, Emily was still in denial about the issue. In time there was an odd odor that sprang from Emily’s house.

The townspeople concludes that Emily had kept her father’s body in her home. The people insists that “She was not crazy” They supposed she had to do that. Emily had started to actually change. She rarely left her house, she cut her hair short, and was never to be seen again by the townspeople. After some time, Emily meets Homer Barron, when the town noticed Emily and Homer spending time together, the town is not convinced by the union of the two, because they thought that Homer is not good enough for Emily’s standards.

When Emily decided to buy poison from the local pharmacy. She allows the pharmacist to assume it’s for killing rats. Everyone believed that Emily would kill herself with poison. Then, shortly after Emily bought poison at the pharmacy, the town never saw Homer again. After some time, Emily’s hair turned grey and became overweight, her door remained closed for six to seven years, until one day the townspeople stopped seeing Emily and later they learned that Emily was dead. Emily’s story is somehow unique from other people’s experiences.

Emily grew up isolated. All her life she was locked in her own little world not knowing what the real world is like. I think, if she was given the right guidance to explore life, she could have moved on from her sufferings, but she wasn’t prepared so she coped the only way she knew how. We can’t blame or Judge Emily of the way she thinks and acts, for me it’s her father’s mistakes for not letting her be a free person making her own decisions in life. This happens with a lot of people nowadays.

We see it a lot with teens and young adults who indulged in premarital sex because they grew up in a home with many rules and beyond firm expectations, just like Emily’s father put on her. My life compared to Emily is a complete opposite, I was raised to be independent and to discover things on my own, Sometimes we need to try new things out of the box on our own, because that will make us a person. We are all allowed to make mistakes, errors and learn from it, so, don’t let life rule you instead rule your own life and live your life the way it should be lived.


Rose For Emily Examples 10


A Rose for Emily By: none (William Faulkner) In times of distress, trauma and uncertainly, many people find a comfort in familiar surroundings, where they can close out the world and relax. This was certainly Emilys way of handling her trauma. All her life Emily tried to escape from change. Even the posting of the new mailbox was unacceptable for her. She acted as though nothing around her had changed her entire life.

Even though death and loss affected her, she seemed to try to avoid thinking about it. Emily is unable to balance her traditions in modern times. But, the roots of her tragedy lay in the fact, that neither can the people who surround her in the town. In the story, Faulkner presents us with a sad tale of a lonely woman, who is only met with disappointment and grief in her search for love. Emily was a lonely woman.

Miss Emily came from a powerful family. She had experienced a controlling love from her father. That love only demanded that she abide by his rules and his expectation of her in his lifetime. Her suitors were all sent away by her father. After failing to marry, she lost the only person who was her family, her father. After her father died, she met Homer Barron, a Yankee, who was in the construction business in the town.

Finally she had someone to love. They dated and possibly were happy with each other, but the traditions, customs and prejudices of the South doomed this affair to end. She could not allow this. Emily could not have lived with Homer, but she could not loose him, her only love. So she poisoned him with arsenic. She needed someone to love her eternally, and someone to love.

She did not have any family members to love and nurture, to turn to for love or support. The few family members she had thought she was crazy, but actually they were even more proud of their position in the society. They prohibited her relationship with Homer. They pushed her to do what she did. The town, the family, all the people were against her love. She could not have Homer alive.

This is why she killed him. This way he was hers, only hers, forever: Then we noticed that in the second pillow was an indentation of a head. . . . we saw a long strand of iron-gray hair. In this story, you can’t help but to feel sadness for the characters. Emily was born into position, which her family, particularly her father placed upon her. Her position was that of a Southern prominent family.

It demanded that she marry well according to the Southern culture. Emilys position set her apart from the townspeople. In her mind, and in mind of the people in town, it became Emilys inherited duty to meet the obligations of that position. Alone and lonely, with the stigma of her fallen position, Emily chose seclusion rather than to face the embarrassment she endured.

The only connection she had with the townspeople was her noblesse oblige. Emily was caught up in that culture. Had Emily been a stronger person, she might have broken from the mold and lived out her own will, marring her love and being happy. But she was not that strong. She succumbed to the insanity that had crept upon her during the course of her life. The only roses Emily ever received during her sad and lonely life were those that were placed on her grave.


Rose For Emily Examples 11


The use of conflict, foreshadowing, and flashbacks throughout the story form the plot along with its characters. The plot’s stages can be traced throughout the story. The start and end of the exposition, climax, and resolution can be identified. There is also a protagonist and a few antagonists in this story. The story is based on the life of a southern woman and the outcome of probably her one and only relationship with a man. I will in the following paragraphs illustrate the use of the previously mentioned tools in the story. The story opens with the death of Miss Emily Grierson, the subject of the story. The fact that the story begins in medias res or in the midst of the story is an example of manipulation of the chronological order of the story (Kirszner and Mandell 65).

This tool used by authors enhances the way a story is told. Another form of manipulating the order of when events are exposed is through the use of flashbacks. Faulkner relies on this to describe the events leading up to Emily’s death. Throughout the story the narrator goes back to different events to introduce characters such as her father, her Negro servant, Homer Barron, and the Board of Aldermen. An example of this would be when the narrator states, “We did not even know she was sick; we had long since given up on getting any information from the Negro.” (86) Within these flashbacks, the author inserts examples of foreshadowing.

When an author uses foreshadowing they are trying to give the reader an insight to the events about to unfold later on in the story (68). Palomo 2 One example of this would be when the aldermen go to visit Emily to serve her with a notice of the taxes she owes. The author writes, “So she vanquished them, horse and foot, just as she had vanquished their  fathers thirty years before about the smell.” ( 82)

This statement was an example of foreshadowing in that it evoked the reader to ask him/herself “what smell?”. The smell would be the rotting corpse of her dead lover Homer Barron, which was revealed at the end of the story. The cause of his death was also foreshadowed in the text. Emily had gone to the drugstore and asked for arsenic. When the druggist informed her that by law he was obligated to ask her the purpose for the arsenic, she looked at him “eye to eye, until he looked away and got the arsenic and wrapped it up.” (84) The use of flash backs and foreshadowing by the author help him establish the storyline and introduce the conflicts that the protagonist must face. The conflicts that Emily had with some of the characters and herself shaped her in the eyes of the reader. Emily was a woman that had been raised around the time of the Civil War in a prominent family.

This fact kept her from having a normal life. Her father never felt any man was worthy of courting her. After he died, she searched for that happiness she felt she deserved, but always maintained the noblesse oblige whenever in public. The denial she exhibited at her father’s passing was the same denial she felt when she realized that Homer could one day leave her, too. The culmination of her father’s death and no big inheritance made her feel as if though her life was spinning out of control. She could not bear the thought of being without Homer and alone with nothing. This is why she killed him and still slept by him all those years. His death created a conflict with her moral character, which is why she became a recluse.

Palomo 3 Aside from this struggle, Emily had now also become an old lady surrounded by a new generation of towns people and leaders. She had become kind of a burden to the town because of Colonel Sartoris’ promise to void her from paying taxes. The text alludes to this when it states, “When the next generation, with its more modern ideas, became mayors and alderman, this arrangement created some little dissatisfaction.” (81)

The new generation saw Emily as a reminder of the older ways of life in that town. All the conflicts that Miss Emily Grierson faced were what established her character in the story. Emily is seen as the protagonist of the story. She is the one that battles with her father’s ruling hand and his death, her own conscience about killing Homer, and the town’s people constant scrutiny. All these forces are some the story’s antagonists. They are the opposing forces that Emily must deal with before her death. Examining the role that her father played in her life, no statement in the story leaves a stronger impression than the one at the bottom of page 82. The narrator says, “None of the young men were quite good enough for Miss Emily…a slender figure in white in the background, her father a spraddled silhouette in the foreground, his back to her and clutching a horse whip…” (82).

The death of her father and the meager inheritance left her feeling helpless; without guidance or protection. This lead to the interest in Homer Barron. She needed him to be her security. In which case, she kept him there forever. The fact that she committed a crime like this must have thrown her conscience into a maelstrom of guilt, yet it also brought a perverse security from the outside world. A world that she locked out of, up to the time of her death. I believe that it was this same world that made her feel this insecurity and vulnerability.

The author clarifies this point, “Thus she passed from generation to generation-dear, Palomo 4 inescapable, impervious, tranquil, and perverse.”(86) The view of this society made her feel she could not show any weakness, when she had little or no strength left. She did the only thing that would keep her from the same fate as her great aunt old lady Wyatt, she cut the connection.

The end result was the increased scrutiny and curiosity of the town’s people. With all these antagonistic forces at hand, Miss Emily Grierson handled this as long as she could in true nature of her proud upbringing. The plot of all stories has stages that it goes through in order to get its point across. These are the exposition, climax, and resolution. The exposition starts from the beginning of the story. It introduces all the players in the story, the conflicts, and the events that lead up to the climax. I believe that the exposition ended and the climax began at the point of the story when they are all gathered at her house for her funeral. The climax peaked at the point when they forced their way into the room that no one had seen in decades.

The discovery of Emily’s lover on the bed “now in the long sleep that out lasts love” was the point that the resolution had begun to become evident. (87) The arsenic, her reluctant nature of letting anyone see that part of the house, and the secrecy all were tied together at this point. Here the reader reached an understanding of what the author was trying to tell them, which is the definition of the resolution.

These stages are essential to the success of a good story. The elements of a plot all work in synchronicity with one another. They all added there own flavor to the story. One can add a little more of one or two of these aspects of the plot to get a different affect. All in all, the story combined the right amount of these tools to attain not only a well written story but one that clearly states what the author is trying to convey.

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