A Rose for Emily
September 26, 2011
A Rose for Emily
The first short story published by William Faulkner (1930, 1897-1962), A Rose for Emily, invites the reader into the dark and oftentimes deranged world of Emily Grierson. The Southern Gothic story takes the reader on a transforming journey alongside the main character from a sweet and innocent young girl to a mental-ill spinster. The main character Emily was once a bright and promising young girl who becomes a mysterious eccentric recluse, and a focus of obsession in the town. Emily may fall far from grace but never gives up on living life on her own terms. She somehow maintains her old southern traditions, resisting change and the coming to age of a new south brought on with a new generation. It is not until the death of Emily and the end of the story that the reader comes to know just how far the heroin has fallen. The story “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner uses several strategies such as irony, symbolism and, narration to convey the story.
The author uses irony to set the tone for the story early. The irony in the story starts with the title, “A Rose for Emily.” A rose is a beautiful flower with a pointy, which can be painful, stem with thorns. The title represents the beautiful flower and the story represents the sharp thorns. A rose is something one may bring to the funeral of a beautiful woman, here this story begins. The irony lies in that Miss Emily is never brought roses but continues to receive thorns throughout her life. These thorns include the illness and death of her father and the null chances of a proper suitor. In response to these situations she creates here own thorns against life. The thorns created by Miss Emily do not come to light until after her death, when the body of impossible lover is uncovered, which, “once lain in the attitude of an embrace.” (Faulkner, 1930, p. 710) The irony in the story adds to the...