A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner Novel

Topics: Short story, William Faulkner, Joyce Carol Oates Pages: 5 (1856 words) Published: December 5, 2011
A Rose For Emily

A Rose For Emily", by William Faulkner, is a short story that is widely read and debated because it has many interpretations among readers. "A Rose for Emily," captures reader’s attention because it is a love story and a mystery at the same time. The story is about the dark mystery that surrounds a mysterious old woman named Emily, who grows increasingly strange throughout time. Faulkner paints an incredible picture by setting up the story and inviting the reader with the mystery that surrounds Emily. The audience does not know what the true mystery is until the last paragraphs of the story. Faulkner's ability to keep the audience reading until the last words of the story shows his great skill as a writer. To truly understand what is going on in the story you have to go in depth and really examine the text. Because of the various themes and interpretations found within “A rose for Emily”, when teaching it to a class you have to make sure to highlight as much information as possible to figure the story out.

The three main themes of this story are love, isolation, and decay. To cover all of the three main themes I would cover each theme one at a time. I would break down this unit into four classes. The first class would cover the theme of love; the second about isolation, the third about decay, and the fourth class would be an overview of the whole story. In each class there would be discussions and assignments given to get the students involved and to hear their thoughts about the story. Article “Reading Between the lines” mentioned to “read and analyze William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily" in its entirety and look for examples of subtext in the settings, details, and descriptions. Then, highlight passages”. I agree with this article’s suggestion completely. I would want my students to read the whole story and try to pay attention to as much detail as possible that is written. Love is the main theme in “A Rose for Emily”. Overall, the theme of love becomes the motivating factor for Emily's unusual behavior. The two characters responsible for Emily’s strange behavior that would need to be discussed in class are her father and Homer Barron. Emily's father and Homer Barron are two very significant characters in the story, and both are the only two male figures in Emily’s life that she loves. Their significance is not only due to the relationship they have with Emily, but because of the effects the have on Emily. Emily's abusive father causes her to develop psychological problems and is the primary cause for her abnormal behavior. Her father is selfish and possessive and his actions and dominating influence creates a negative psychological effect in Emily. When Emily was young, she was a beautiful southern belle who was admired by many. Her beauty captured the attention of many men in the town. At this point we begin to see an unusual relationship between Emily and her father. The father not only drives away every man that tried to see Emily, but also she yearns to love someone so much that it becomes irrelevant whether that person is dead. This is show when she refuses to give up her father’s body when he is dead. We do not know what Emily would have done with her father’s body if the townspeople had not forced her to give it up. She was so constrained by her father that she became so desperate for love and his body was the only possession she received from him and she did not want to let it go. “She told them that her father was not dead. She did that for three days, with the ministers calling on her, and the doctors, trying to persuade her to let them dispose of the body” (Faulkner 185). After her father’s death Emily became involved with Homer Barron. Soon enough Emily murders him. The question that needs to be asked is why she murdered Homer Barron. Was it because he might have been gay? Was it because she has taken in the violence of her father and used it...
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