A Rose for Emily: Short Summary

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In the story, A Rose for Emily, the author, William Faulkner, describes Emily's house and Emily so that a very vivid image is engraved in your mind. The house appears to be run down, unclean, and mysteriously uninviting. This description is in direct relation to Emily. The exterior of the house is described as run down. In the narrator's words the house is described as a “decaying mansion that no outsider has entered in the decade before her death”. The word decaying is directly related to the process after death. Because of his choice of words, we can develop a morbid picture of the home and the owner. The interior is described in the same manner. When the officials entered the house, it is dark and everything is shadowed throughout. Further description of the interior implies the uncleanliness and wear of the furniture. The leather is cracked and covered with dust. The city officials masked the odors of the house with lime because it reeked of death months before. Emily is described as a small frame that lady in the story. Just as the furniture is described, Emily has not kept or maintained her appearance. Furthermore, Emily’s mental stability is questioned by the descriptions that the narrator provides. A sense of mystery and solitude is provided in the reading. We are informed of the family’s history of mental illness in the story. This leaves it open for the reader to assume that the reasoning for her not being social and the state in which she was found is due to such illness. The neighbors did not see her upstairs or outside for months. She was described as “bloated, like a body long submerged in motionless water, and of pallid hue, her eyes, lost in the, fatty ridges of her face, looked like two small pieces of coal”. This helps to support the argument that she was very uninviting. After reading these descriptions of Emily and the house, the reader can’t help but have a vague picture imprinted in their mind of an old abandoned rundown home on a...
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