Symbolism in “A Rose for Emily”
In the short story, “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner, symbolism is used frequently. There are several different symbols that appear as the story plays out. Faulkner uses symbolism to express many diverse thoughts. In the story Faulkner uses a rose to symbolize love, Emily's house is used to symbolize Emily as a monument, and Homer Baron is used to symbolize the North and change.
The rose is a symbol for love. In the story, Homer is considered the “rose” or the love for Emily. Emily's father sheltered her and believed no man was good enough for her. Her father’s actions deprived Emily from experiencing love before Homer came into her life. Since Homer was Emily’s first love she never wants to lose Homer. This is why she keeps Homer, her “rose”, after he has died.
Emily's house symbolizes Emily as a monument. The house used to be one of the nicest houses on the street. During the time the story takes place the house is old and decaying. Emily too has grown older and has worn with time. In the story Emily is portrayed as a stubborn woman. She refuses to change as society and the town evolve around her. The house, like Emily, seems out of place in a changing society. Because Emily refuses to accept the changing times, she and her house remain as monuments of how the town and society use to be.
Homer Barron symbolizes the North and change. The South is known for being traditional, and the North is known for welcoming change. Homer Barron was from the North and also represented change and modern ideas. This story takes place in the South right after the Civil War. Most people in the town do not like Homer because he is from the North and he is making changes to the town. Therefore Homer is a symbol for the North because he welcomes change.
“A Rose for Emily” contains many examples of strong symbolism.
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