Prose Analysis “A Rose for Emily” William Faulkner
The two female cousins came at once. They held the funeral on the second day, with the town coming to look at Miss Emily beneath a mass of bought flowers, with the crayon face of her father musing profoundly above the bier and the ladies sibilant and macabre; and the very old men --some in their brushed Confederate uniforms--on the porch and the lawn, talking of Miss Emily as if she had been a contemporary of theirs, believing that they had danced with her and courted her perhaps, confusing time with its mathematical progression, as the old do, to whom all the past is not a diminishing road but, instead, a huge meadow which no winter ever quite touches, divided from them now by the narrow bottle-neck of the most recent decade of years.
This excerpt is located in the second paragraph of part V of William Faulkner’s short story “A Rose for Emily”. The anonymous narrator who serves as the town’s collective voice recants the scene at Miss Emily’s funeral, and the attendees present, who in an attempt to maintain the old South’s glory; reminisce with a strong sense of blind nostalgia over the life of a woman that they believe was an embodiment of the southern aristocratic values and traditions within the modernization of the community. In this paragraph Faulkner introduces the usage of stylistic elements such as diction, sentence structure, and figurative language to emphasize the themes of traditions, and the resistance to change surrounding the deterioration and illusion of the old south.
The resistance to change and the nostalgic embodiment of southern traditions is brought to life by Faulkner’s ability to manipulate diction. In the paragraph with his illustrative and unconventional word choice, he allows the reader to be immersed within the old southern speech and thought patterns. In addition, his choice to use a citizen of the town as the narrator, Faulkner makes the diction an embodiment of the Southern...
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