William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily" is a tragic tale of a Southern aristocrat, Miss Emily Grierson, who is the subject of a town's obsession. The narrator, a member of the town, tells the story of what transpires in a decaying old Southern house that is always under the watchful eye of the townspeople. They witness Miss Emily's life, her father's death, her turn to insanity and the death of both her and her lover. The theme of death runs throughout this tale, which is understandable considering the events that take place in the story. Faulkner uses foreshadowing to foretell events that will transpire later in the story. Because of this foreshadowing, a reader may not be shocked when a strange turn in the story occurs, because, it may seem familiar to him. Faulkner's first use of foreshadowing begins with the death of Miss Emily. The main character does not usually die in the first sentence of most works of fiction, but here Faulkner is foretelling the deaths of other characters that will follow. The reader will learn more about Emily's life and death as the story unfolds.
Emily is only described when she is late in her life and then only as being like a "skeleton" in an "obese" body and looking "bloated, like a body long submerged in motionless water". Here, Faulkner is using simile in his description of Emily to foreshadow the skeletal remains of Homer, her lover, who is found dead later. Miss Emily is not seen for years after the disappearance of Homer. When she is finally seen, she is described as being fatter than before and with her hair beginning to turn gray. Her hair continues to turning gray until it becomes "pepper and s...
... middle of paper ...
...s to see Miss Emily. Faulkner has also foreshadowed Homer's death by the smell of death that arises from the Emily's house. Faulkner has now foreshadowed all the events that await poor Homer. The townspeople comment that "That was the last we saw of Homer Barron". The most shocking event that transpires is when the townspeople find Homer's body lying in Emily's bed they also find one of Emily's gray hairs on the pillow next to him. This is foreshadowed when Emily's dead body is found with "her gray head propped up on a pillow yellow and moldy with age and lack of sunlight". Even in death Miss Emily was herself foreshadowed from the first line of the story.
Faulkner, William. "A Rose for Emily." The Norton Introduction to Literature. By Carl E. Bain, Jerome Beaty, and J. Paul Hunter. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 1991: 69-76.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Symbolism and Theme in William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily In William Faulkner's short story "A Rose for Emily," a series of interconnected events collectively represent a single theme in the story. Symbolism is the integral factor involved in understanding the theme. "A Rose for Emily's" dominant theme is the search for love and security, a basic human need which can be met unfavorably in equivocal environments. Faulkner's use of symbolism profoundly develops the theme of the story, bringing to light the issues of morality that arise from a young woman's struggle to find love.... [tags: A Rose for Emily, William Faulkner]
1470 words (4.2 pages)
- The Theme of Isolation in A Rose for Emily As an author establishes the characters he simultaneously attempts to develop the theme of the story. An author uses various elements such as point of view, the setting, and symbols to work toward the expression of one central idea. In looking at "A Rose for Emily." a short story by William Faulkner, it is evident that Faulkner successfully carries one main idea throughout the piece, the idea of being isolated from society. One of the most effective elements that Faulkner uses in his development of this main idea is the use of imagery.... [tags: A Rose for Emily, William Faulkner]
1054 words (3 pages)
- "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)
- Throughout the Eighteen Years of my life I read many interesting short stories. Some stories where more eye catching than others. Furthermore “A Rose For Emily” by William Faulkner and “Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka were not on the top of my list. In my opinion, the stories were eye catching because of how the author made its characters react and respond toward the suspense and eeriness in certain parts of the climax of the stories. For example, in “A Rose For Emily” the ladies of the community said “We did not say she was crazy then.... [tags: A Rose For Emily, William Faulkner]
1625 words (4.6 pages)
- William Faulkner's central theme in the story "A Rose For Emily" is to let go of the past. The main character in the story, Emily Grierson, has a tendency to cling to the past and has a reluctance to be independent. Faulkner uses symbols throughout the story to cloak an almost allegorical correlation to the reconstruction period of the South. Even these symbols are open to interpretation; they are the heart and soul of the story. With the literal meaning of Faulkner's story implies many different conclusions, it is primarily the psychological and symbolic aspects, which give the story meaning.... [tags: William Faulkner A Rose Emily Essays]
1896 words (5.4 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)
- The main symbolism running throughout A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner, is the theme of how important it is to let go of the past. Miss Emily clings to the past and does not want to be independent. The Old South is becoming the new South and she cannot move forward. The residents of the South did not all give in to change just because they lost the Civil War. In A Rose for Emily time marches on leaving Miss Emily behind as she stubbornly refuses to progress into a new era. In the story, symbolism is used to give more details than the author actually gives to the reader.... [tags: A Rose For Emily, William Faulkner]
1014 words (2.9 pages)
- Analysis of A Rose For Emily “A Rose for Emily”, by William Faulkner, begins and ends with the death of Miss Emily Grierson, the main character of the story. In the story William Faulkner uses characterization to reveal the character of Miss Emily. Faulkner divided the story “into five sections, the first and last section having to do with the present, and the now of the narration, with the three middle sections detailing the past” (Davis 35). Faulkner expresses the content of Miss Emily’s character through physical description, through her actions, words, and feelings, through the narrator’s direct comments about her, and through the actions, words, and feelings of other characters.... [tags: A Rose for Emily, William Faulkner]
1295 words (3.7 pages)
- The Nature of Time and Change in William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily In "A Rose for Emily," William Faulkner's use of language foreshadows and builds up to the climax of the story. His choice of words is descriptive, tying resoundingly into the theme through which Miss Emily Grierson threads, herself emblematic of the effects of time and the nature of the old and the new. Appropriately, the story begins with death, flashes back to the near distant past and leads on to the demise of a woman and the traditions of the past she personifies.... [tags: A Rose for Emily, William Faulkner]
1778 words (5.1 pages)
- Escaping Loneliness In "A Rose for Emily," William Faulkner's use of setting and characterization foreshadows and builds up to the climax of the story. His use of metaphors prepares the reader for the bittersweet ending. A theme of respectability and the loss of, is threaded throughout the story. Appropriately, the story begins with death, flashes back to the past and hints towards the demise of a woman and the traditions of the past she personifies. Faulkner has carefully crafted a multi-layered masterpiece, and he uses setting, characterization, and theme to move it along.... [tags: A Rose For Emily, William Faulkner]
1692 words (4.8 pages)