"A Rose for Emily," by Faulkner, provides not only innumerable details but also a complex structure. Long after the reader has learned to identify and discuss the function of significant detail, they often continue to struggle with the influence of structure on a story. The imagery of changing portraits in "A Rose for Emily" allows the reader to explore both to find meaning. In addition to the literal portrait of Emily's father, Faulkner creates numerous figurative portraits of Emily herself by framing her in doorways or windows. The chronological organization of Emily's portraits visually imprints the changes occurring throughout her life. Like an impressionist painting that changes as the viewer moves to different positions, however, the structural organization provides clues to the "whole picture" or to the motivations behind her transformations.
Chronologically, the "back-flung" front door creates the first tableau of a youthful Miss Emily, assiduously guarded by her father. Miss Emily, a "slender figure in white,"1 typifies the vulnerable virgin, hovering in the background, subordinate and passive. The father, "a spraddled silhouette in the foreground, his back to her and clutching a horsewhip" (CS 123), is a menacing dark image assuming the dominant front position. His turned back suggests a disregard for her emotional welfare as he wards off potential danger--or violation of her maidenhead--with his horsewhip. The back-flung door invites suitors in, but only those who meet Grierson standards. Unfortunately, those standards are unattainable--"The Griersons held themselves a little too high for what they really were" (CS 123)--and Miss Emily remains...
... middle of paper ...
...cefully on her funeral bier with a simple image of love and loss, a strand of iron-gray hair resting on the yellowed pillow of an impotent bridal bed. This haunting image is the fianl pen stroke whispering the eulogy of her wasted life.
1 Collected Stories of William Faulkner (New York: Vintage, 1977), 123. Hereafter CS.
2 The southern planter patterned his lifestyle after the English country gentleman (Daniel Boorstin, The American: The Colonial Experience [Random House, 1958]). In doing so, he developed a code of conduct that reflected the romanticism of the medevial age. A feudal mind set--replete with courtly love, a code of honor, and a romantic quest--is evident in several of Faulkner's male characters, e.g., Sutpen in Abaslom, Absalom! and Hightower in Light in August.
3 The Sound and the Fury (New York: Random House, 1992), 78.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- "A Rose for Emily" is a wonderful short story written by William Faulkner. It begins with at the end of Miss Emily’s life and told from an unknown person who most probably would be the voice of the town. Emily Grierson is a protagonist in this story and the life of her used as an allegory about the changes of a South town in Jefferson after the civil war, early 1900's. Beginning from the title, William Faulkner uses symbolism such as house, Miss Emily as a “monument “, her hair, Homer Barron, and even Emily’s “rose” to expresses the passing of time and the changes.... [tags: A Rose For Emily, William Faulkner]
1032 words (2.9 pages)
- What is atmosphere. It is the use of dust and moonlight, of curtains and trailing gowns. Atmosphere is the character that is not human, the description of place and feel, all the points of the tale that are not directly products of the people in the story or poem. In "A Rose for Emily' by William Faulkner, atmosphere seems more potent than the hastily sketched characters in the story. This is also evident in the famous poems "She Walks in Beauty' by Byron and "Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer Day?' by Shakespeare.... [tags: A Rose For Emily, William Faulkner]
1615 words (4.6 pages)
- Symbolism in literature is using an object to portray a different, deeper meaning in a story. Symbols represent ideas or qualities that the author has maneuvered into his or her story that has meaning. There can be multiple symbols in a story or just one. It is up to the reader to interpret the meaning of the symbols and their significance to the story. While reading a story, symbols may not become clear until the very end, once the climax is over, and the falling action is covered. In William Faulkner’s, “A Rose for Emily,” there are multiple examples of symbolism that occur throughout the story.... [tags: A Rose for Emily Essays]
1236 words (3.5 pages)
- Importance of Setting in William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily Setting is place and time, and often provides more than a mere backdrop for the action of a story. William Faulkner uses this device in his complex short story "A Rose for Emily" to give insight into the lonely world of Miss Emily Grierson. Faulkner portrays the townspeople and Emily in the southern town of Jefferson during the late 1800's to early 1900's. The town is more than just the setting in the story; it takes on its own characterization alongside Emily the main character.... [tags: A Rose for Emily, William Faulkner]
915 words (2.6 pages)
- Past Contrasted with Present in Faulkner's A Rose for Emily In "A Rose for Emily", Faulkner contrasted the past with the present era. The past was represented in Emily herself, in Colonel Sartoris, in the old Negro servant, and in the Board of Alderman who accepted the Colonel's attitude toward Emily and rescinded her taxes. The present was expressed chiefly through the words of the unnamed narrator. The new Board of Aldermen, Homer Barron (the representative of Yankee attitudes toward the Griersons and thus toward the entire South), and in what is called "the next generation with its more modern ideas" all represented the present time period (Norton Anthology, 2044).... [tags: A Rose for Emily, William Faulkner]
980 words (2.8 pages)
- The Role of the Watch in William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily Even the casual reader of William Faulkner will recognize the element of time as a crucial one in much of the writer's work, and the critical attention given to the subject of time in Faulkner most certainly fills many pages of criticism. A goodly number of those pages of criticism deal with the well-known short story, "A Rose for Emily." Several scholars, most notably Paul McGlynn, have worked to untangle the confusing chronology of this work (461-62).... [tags: A Rose for Emily, William Faulkner]
1194 words (3.4 pages)
- William Faulkner’s "A Rose for Emily" is perhaps his most famous and most anthologized short story. From the moment it was first published in 1930, this story has been analyzed and criticized by both published critics and the causal reader. The well known Literary critic and author Harold Bloom suggest that the story is so captivating because of Faulkner’s use of literary techniques such as "sophisticated structure, with compelling characterization, and plot" (14). Through his creative ability to use such techniques he is able to weave an intriguing story full of symbolism, contrasts, and moral worth.... [tags: A Rose For Emily, William Faulkner]
1943 words (5.6 pages)
- Importance of Setting in A Rose for Emily In William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily," Faulkner's details about setting and atmosphere give the reader background as to the values and beliefs of the characters, helping the reader to understand the motivations, actions and reactions of Miss Emily and the rest of the town, and changing the mood or tone in the story. The setting in "A Rose for Emily" is Faulkner's fictitious post- civil war Jefferson, a small town in the deep south of the United States.... [tags: A Rose for Emily, William Faulkner]
741 words (2.1 pages)
- William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily I. Implied author of the story „A Rose for Emily”, a story of horror first published in 1930, is considered by many scholars one of the most authentic and the best narratives ever written by William Faulkner. It is a story of a woman, Emily Grierson, and her relationships with her father, the man she was in love with and the community of Jefferson, the town she lived in. While discussing any narrative text it is crucial to mention the implied author of a text.... [tags: Faulkner Rose Emily Essays]
4808 words (13.7 pages)
- William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily" “A Rose for Emily,” is the remarkable story of Emily Grierson, whose death and funeral drew the attention of the town. The bizarre outcome is further emphasized throughout by the symbolism of the decaying house, which parallels Miss Emily’s physical deterioration and demonstrates her ultimate mental disintegration. Emily’s life, like the house which decays around her, suffers from lack of genuine love and care. The characteristics of Miss Emily’s house, like her physical appearance, are brought about by years of neglect.... [tags: A Rose for Emily, William Faulkner]
650 words (1.9 pages)