A Rose For Emily
After World War II, there were many changes occurring in the world. Man's inherent
need to follow tradition was now being challenged by a changing, modern world. The
past and the present often conflicted. William Faulkner, a southern born writer, based a
story on this conflict. Faulkner reflects the turmoil of the past and the present in "A
Rose For Emily."
The conflict between the past and the present is symbolized in the beginning of
Faulkner's story by this description, "only now Miss Emily's house was left, lifting its
stubborn and coquettish decay above the cotton wagons and gasoline pumps - an
eyesore among eyesores" (426) . It seems ironic that the same description "stubborn
and coquettish decay" could also be a description for Miss Emily as well.
As Faulkner begins the story, the reader quickly learns that this peice is going to be
about death and dying. It is not so much as physical death, although physical death is
also apparent, but spiritual, mental, and social decay. Dennis Allen writes, "we have a
decaying mansion in which the protagonist, shut out of the world, grows into something
monstrous, and becomes as divorced from the human as some fungus growing in the
dark on a damp wall" (45). As defined in Websters dictionary, horror is "the strong
feeling caused by something frightful or shocking" (239). At the end of "A Rose for
Emily, the reader finds out that Miss Emily is performing a very deviant action. The
reader and the townspeople are very much shocked by this act. This story is described
as truly "a story of horror" (Allen 46).
The unnamed narrator, which some critics have identified as "the town" or at
least a representative voice from it, in a seemingly haphazard manner, relates key
moments in Emily's life, including the death of her father and a bri...