A Rose for Emily - Literary Analysis

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““I want arsenic.” The druggist looked down at her. She looked back at him, erect, her face like a strained flag. "Why, of course," the druggist said. "If that's what you want. But the law requires you to tell what you are going to use it for." Miss Emily just stared at him, her head tilted back in order to look him eye for eye, until he looked away and went and got the arsenic and wrapped it up.” (Faulkner, 4) This scene from William Faulkner’s “A Rose For Emily” gives a little look into the strange mind of Emily Grierson. Miss Emily didn’t believe it when her father died, her father who was always there to shelter her from the rest of the world, the father who influenced her seclusion from the rest of the town. Maybe this is why she purchased arsenic to kill a man she “loved” when he did not want to settle down. We will never really know why Emily did what she did, but yet again, others never really know why we choose to do something ourselves.

The author William Faulkner lived most of his life in Oxford, Mississippi, where he later experienced and imagined a fictionist county called Yoknapatawpha and researches several of its families, to detail the Compsons and Sartorises who were aristocratic from the Civil War to modern times. The writer Faulkner and his influence in Southern writing prompted him to write the story of “A Rose for Emily.” Therefore, this setting takes place in the deep south of Mississippi during the Post Civil War days in a small town named Jefferson. Setting his story in this geographic area gives the reader a better understanding and background of the characters values and beliefs in the setting of Southern culture during this time frame. Miss Emily descending from the aristocratic hierarchical name of the Grierson’s who were well known in the town of Jefferson. The town seems to be narrating the story of Emily in a form of gossip circles to reiterate her living alone with her only servant. Miss Emily’s actions seem to be...
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