Love and Death: A Comparison and Contrast of William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily" and Andre Dubus's "Killings"
The French journalist Octive Mirabaeu once said, "Murder is born of love, and loves attains he greatest intensity in murder." This quote echoed through the literary writings of William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily" and Andre Dubus's "Killings". Faulkner crafted a story around Emily Grierson, a genteel woman in the southern United States during an era when everyone was scrutinized, forced to uphold a social code, and maintain a moral order. Emily, ruled by a dominating father who sent away any would-be suitors, is left to find a mate at an age that her societies' standards considers to be non-traditional. At the age of thirty Emily's internal drive to be a wife overpowers he pride when she meets Homer Baron, a less than ideal Yankee construction worker. After much intervention her love affair takes a tragic turn in the most intense attempt to repair her self-esteem and image. Matt Fowler, the protagonist in Andre Dubus's "Killings", reasons that the justice system is not working in the manner it should and ensures the Richard Strout's punishment for killing Fowler's son, Frank, is appropriate for the crime he has committed. Although neither Matt Fowler nor Strout are murderers, the intensity of love overwhelms them beyond logic and despite the potential consequences as the look past their human morality and take a life in a tragic tale of love and revenge. The two stories share many differences, but the underlying theme based on crimes of passion leaves the reader with the ethical dilemma of contemplating whether murder can be justified. In "A Rose for Emily", Emily was forced not to forget her "nobles oblige" and to maintain her status in an egalitarian society(Faulkner, “Rose” 93). Conversely Matt is a store owner in a suburb outside the city limits of Boston, Massachusetts. Although they both hail from different...
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