Analysis of Faulkner’s A Rose for Emily
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Running head: A ROSE FOR EMILYYujing LiuProfessorKenneth RoseEnglish 11224 March 2018
1A ROSE FOR EMILYAnalysis of Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily”Thesisstatement:Emily’s character has been trapped in a delusionary world where she was far from thereality and controlled others to know her true personality portraying a gloomy tonethroughout the story.“A Rose for Emily”by William Faulkner is a popular and successful short storydue to the fact that it has an intricately complex chronology.This short story tends toevoke the Southern grotesque and gothic terms, where the general tone is terror,gloom and inconspicuous violence. This story is also contains incredibly dark imageslike a corpse, decaying mansion, a mystifying servant Tobe, who disappears, a murderand a sense of necrophilia1.Besides this, the story has a unique narrative perspectivewhile telling the story. Initially, the readers can find that it is the voice of the narratorhimself who is speaking for the people of the entire town to be impressionable, youngmale but a close analysis alters thisrealization(Gale). The reader graduallyrealizesthat the narrator can never be clearly identified as a young male or female. Theperspective of the narrator can be better assumed by the close examination of the tonewhere the narrator uses first person ‘we’. At some points, this narrator changes his or1Moore, Aaron Lee. "A Survey Comparison of Faulkner Studies in China and theWest."Comparative Literature: East & West1.2 (2017): 216-227.
2A ROSE FOR EMILYher perspective about the main character Miss Emily in the narration.The narratoralso deepens the unedifying mystery of how much he or she knows about whathappened exactly, especially when Homer’s body has been discovered by the townpeople. By using the pronoun ‘we’ the narrator makes the conflict more mysterious2.Shifting to ‘they’ from ‘we’ here is a significant and major shift. Until now, thenarrator was thought to be a group of town people who have accepted the deeds andthoughts of community, but here the narrator has distanced himself from breakingdown the door like others. This subtle and quick shift gives a major clue regardingnarrator’s personality. So it may be assumed thatthe narrator of this story is not asingle person but different people from whose point of view the character of MissEmily becomes implicit to the readers.However, it may also be assumed that whoeverthe narrator was, he or she was concerned for Emily, despite the character’s desperateand horrible acts and eccentricities in her behavior.The story begins with the town people attending the funeral of Miss Emily, whenthe men of the town Jefferson had termed her death to be a great fall. They compareMiss Emily with a monument “alive, Miss Emily had been a tradition, duty, and acare; a sort of hereditary obligation of the town” (Faulkner 309). This descriptionraises several questions regarding the reputation as proper respectability of Miss2Gale, Cengage Learning.A Study Guide for William Faulkner's" Rose for Emily".Gale, Cengage Learning, 2016.
3A ROSE FOR EMILYEmily in the town. However, the narrator demonstrates sympathy to Miss Emily bynever convicting her actions. Often unabashedly, often grudgingly, the first personnarrator esteems her capability to practice her aristocratic bearings to subjugate thepeople of the city council as well as to buy poison. The character of Emily is thetraditional outcast who has been limiting and controlling others access to her actualpersonality remaining hidden for years. Her house, dusty, shuttered and dark,symbolizes a shield which helped Emily to be distant from the town people.However,it is her aristocratic aloofness that attracts the people of the town more, and sheremains in their talks all the timeHowever, the omniscient narrator of this short story takes an empathetic voice tocriticizeMiss Emily for not paying the tax as well as her increasing association withthe low-class people (Matta). The narrator is neither care-giver of Miss Emily nor awell-wisher but demonstrates her fall from a high-class aristocrat woman to love aYankee.She has also exhibited the stereotypical qualities of a southern eccentriccharacter: excessively tragic, subjected to strange behavior and entirely unbalanced.Ironically, the narrator admires her act of distancing from the vulgar, gross and cynicworld of the town members and love Homer Barron. Therefore, it can be said that thenarrator though a part of the town members can openlycriticizehis own ideology andpoint of view. At the moment when Miss Emily commits one of the mostrepulsiveacts of desperation that leads to necrophilia but does not have much effect on thereader as the narrator has buffered it.The narrator has portrayed Emily’s character as