A Rose for Emily: Symbolism

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Tracy Lancaster
English 132
July,06 2009

In William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily," the symbolism shows more about the character than is detailed by the author. Authors generally use symbolism as a way to represent the intangible qualities of the characters, places, and events in their work. Symbolism helps to indicate several things in a story. In "A Rose for Emily" Faulkner uses symbolism to define and characterize Emily Grierson. There are many symbols in this story each one has a special meaning to be determined by the reader. Therefore each time the story is read it can take on a new form, which will make this story lasts for generations to come The title "A Rose for Emily" holds a lot of symbolism in itself. When asked about the title Faulkner replied "...this was a salute, just as if you were to make a gesture...to a woman you would hand a rose" Faulkner Interview, 1955 . The title "A Rose for Emily" symbolizes a gift to Emily Grierson. According rose is a gift of love from the town who viewed Emily as a fallen monument and offered her a rose as a symbol of love and a token of their affection and admiration for her. The unnamed narrator, who symbolizes the town or least a representative voice from it, relates key moments in Emily s life. Because the narrator never speaks in first person pronoun "I", one can believe that the narrator represents the townspeople and their views toward Emily and her life, to include the death of her father, and her brief relationship with a Yankee. Beyond the literal level of Emily's narrative, the story also represents the symbolic changes in the South after the civil war. Another example of symbolism is Emily s house, it represents the Old South and like Miss Emily, it is the only one of its kind left to face a modern generation and like Ms. Emily it does not change with the times. Without the proper care the house needs, in time it becomes ugly to look at, "only Miss Emily's was left, lifting its...
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