A rRse for Emily

Length: 4 Pages 955 Words

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 th Continue...


Inge is referring to Emily this way because of the fact that she slept with the skeleton of her lover for forty years. In the room "the valence curtains of faded rose color, upon the rose-shaded lights . The present had tried to defeat her, buy only through death, did this become possible. The bridal room is the color of roses and symbolizes the color of love. This story is described as truly "a story of horror" (Allen 46). This way, the reader is able to understand how the people of Jefferson thought of Miss Emily. By understanding Emily, the reader may get a clearer view of the actions that go on in the story ( Inge 144). According to Thomas Inge, Emily is a "gothic character" (142). The rampant symbolism, and Faulkner's descriptions of the decaying house, coincide with Miss Emilys' physical and emotional decay, also emphasizing her mental degeneration, and further illustrating the outcome of his story. For a while Miss Emily is able to maintain her past in this rose-colored bridal room, in her rose tinted world. The little room above the stairs is significant in that it represents the past for Miss Emily. and the man's toilet things backed with tarnish silver, silver so tarnished that the monogram was obscured" (431). Miss Emily adds a mystical tone to the mood of the story due to her incapability of being able to live in reality. As defined in Websters dictionary, horror is "the strong feeling caused by something frightful or shocking" (239).