Compare and Contrast “the Flowers” and “a Rose for Emily”

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Compare and Contrast “The Flowers” and “A Rose for Emily” In comparing Alice Walker’s story “The Flowers” with that of William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily,” there are similarities and differences. The main difference in the stories is the way the characters react to the deaths. There are similarities such as the main characters of both stories personally face a dead body, both stories share the symbolism of flowers, and both present a theme of death.

In “The Flowers,” Myop innocently stumbles across the remains of a lynched man after she spends a day gathering flowers in the woods behind her family’s cabin. She discovers his body by stepping “smack into his eyes.” (Walker 82) In “A Rose for Emily,” Emily loves one man, Homer Barron. Once he disappears, the town believes he leaves Emily. In fact, Homer was gay and tells everyone that he is “not a marrying man.” (Faulkner 95) This is something that Emily just can’t accept, so she poisons him and leaves him in an upstairs bedroom. There she continues to sleep next to his body every night until her own death.

Another similarity between “The Flowers” and “A Rose for Emily” would be the symbolism of flowers throughout both stories. In “The Flowers,” Myop gathers all types of flowers throughout her walk in the woods. When she finds the body, she lays the flowers next to it as a bouquet or arrangement for the lynched man. She finds a rose in his pocket, which she keeps and continues walking home. In “A Rose for Emily,” the rose is a tribute and represents the sympathy that the narrator feels. There is a deep understanding of the situation that she faces. It clearly shows that despite the crime she commits, there was a human being hiding behind her façade. The rose is a symbol of never-ending love. Emily wants nothing more than to experience real eternal, lasting love. She wants time to stand still. In “The...
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