Literary Analysis: a Rose for Emily

Topics: William Faulkner, Southern United States, Short story Pages: 3 (909 words) Published: February 17, 2013
Prof. Vivian
English 1102
February 2, 2013
Literary Analysis: A Rose For Emily
The brilliantly written story “A Rose For Emily” by William Faulkner holds various themes and symbols that can be interpreted in several ways. This short story is about Emily Grierson’s life through the eyes of the townspeople in a small, old southern town. It starts with the odd relationship between Emily and her father before and after he dies then continues with how Emily slowly becomes isolated after poisoning her “yankee” fiancé Homer Barron and hiding his body for over 40 years in her own bed. William Faulkner uses many literary devices to develop several themes but is mainly based around how Miss Emily is metaphorically the part of the south that needs change or will have a terrible ending.

Through out the story Miss Emily Grierson is the only thing that doesn’t change. Being raised in this society has major effects on her life, driving her crazy which I think led to her cruel actions in her later life. Growing up, Miss Emily’s father played a major influence on her mentality, keeping her isolated from everyone else played a big role in her later life. After her father’s death, Miss Emily kept his corpse and denied that he was dead for three days. “We did not say she was crazy then. We believed she had to do that. We remembered all the young men her father had driven away, and we knew that with nothing left, she would have to cling to that which had robbed her, as people will.” (Paragraph 28) This quote shows that everyone knew her father influenced this mentality in Emily’s mind at an early period in life. Other pressures from society came from the point of view of the town ladies who I pictured as the constant gossipers of the town. The town ladies felt that Emily being a Grierson must have lost her “noblesse oblige” (31) or in other words honor and dignity because she liked Homer Barron who was a northerner and day laborer. When Miss Emily was out in public...
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