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A Rose for Emily: a Review

Oct 08, 1999 639 Words
"A Rose for Emily": A Review

In "A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner, we see how past events effect the main character Miss Emily, especially her mental state. She seems to live in a sort of fantasy world where death has no real meaning. Miss Emily refuses to accept or even recognize, the death of her father or that of Colonel Satoris. She does not want to acknowledge the fact that the world around her was changing therefore Miss Emily surrounds herself with death. What Faulkner tries to state in this story is that you should not let death overpower your life. A person should try and let go of their beloved ones after they have passed away. He also tries to state is to always expect the unexpected, like when Miss Emily killed Homer.

Faulkner chooses to use third person narration in this particular story for a couple of reasons. He tries to show Emily's world to us as seen through the eyes of a respectable resident, so we can understand the town life as if we lived there. This way we were able to understand how the people of Jefferson thought of her. If the story would have been told in first person we would not have been able to relate to Miss Emily. The reason for that would be, if she would have been the narrator we would have understood the story in a hole different manner. Faulkner used third person narration and from that we were able to find out many things about Miss Emily's past. For instance the death of her father, the love she had for Homer, and how she felt the need for affection. Those ideas she would have kept to herself, if she were to have told the story.

The language and dialogue that Faulkner provides Miss Emily with enables the readers to understand how she feels about the town. She is not very pleased with the changes that have occurred therefore she lets everyone that she comes in contact with know how she views those specific changes. For example when the new Mayor tells her that she owes taxes in Jefferson, she just keeps on insisting that she does not owe any money. She also keeps repeating that if they had any to just ask Colonel Satoris about her taxes, while everyone knew good and well he had passed away. This in turn supports the theme of the story, because we see that Miss Emily does not like the idea of change at all.

Faulkner uses many symbols throughout the story, one of them being the crayon portrait of Miss Emily's father. The picture symbolizes many things' one of them being that it shows how she thinks of things in the distant past. Another symbol is the poison that she uses to kill Homer Barron. When the people in Jefferson found out that she had purchased the poison they surely all thought that she was going to kill herself. What she really used it for was never expected from quiet, old Miss Emily. This lead up to the climax of the story. After Miss Emily died they had to go to remove her body. The unsuspecting thing that happened in her house was that she had been sleeping with Homer's old decayed body for many years.

Faulkner did a great job in creating the setting, characters and dialogue in this story. Everything is so well written and understood. We can understand many things about small town life in the south in the early 1900's. It is a wonderful story, even though irony surrounds the ending. That is another reason why this story is so memorable. If you read it once you can never truly forget it, because I know I never will.

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