Good Essay On Fiction
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"A Rose for Emily" was one of the most famous and popular short stories by American author William Faulkner. One may state that this short story awakens the very definition of Gothic and grotesque –styles in literature where every single word is saturated with violence, gloom and darkness. It is possible to assume that "A Rose for Emily" is the best example of Faulkner’s style due to interesting plot and usage of Gothic images and grotesque imagery.
The one of the greatest things in this story is the unique narrative point of view. In the world of literature, one may say that usage of second person narration is a rare thing. In "A Rose for Emily", the writer uses “we” in the course of the book, creating the feeling as if he were speaking on behalf of the entire town. It would seem that the narrator, even though he uses “we” all the time, is a single person and is concealed behind a young sensitive man (Faulkner and Inge).
Frankly speaking, there are not many characters in this short story. The protagonist - Miss Emily, who is a very mysterious person, changes throughout the story, from a young and beautiful girl to a spinster and then she evolves into the insane murderer. She is very highly influenced by her father – Mr. Grieson, who tries, by all means at his disposal, not to let his daughter to get married (Faulkner and Inge). He is a very strict and, in some ways, angry man. Another important character in this story is Homer Barron – Emily’s prospective love interest and her eventual victim. He is a large man with a dark complexion, a profound voice, and light colored eyes. This character is not very sympathetic– the town does not like him. This is quite different than the public’s view on Emily, who seems to be well liked, if not popular. It is important to mention other minor characters such as Judge Stevens, who respects Emily no matter who she does and Tobe, who serves Emily, being a very loyal servant even when she closes her house to the outside world. These characters are very important as they show the attitude towards the protagonist.
Considering the setting, the author creates his own Mississippi County. He calls it by the name of Yoknapatawpha. This story takes place at the end of the 19th century, during the years 1860-1933. All the events occur at Miss Emily’s residence and the story mainly revolves around her mansion (Faulkner and Inge).
Generally speaking, author expresses every detail with the help of the fancy words and long, complex sentences for which Faulkner is popular. Moreover, the author’s mastery of language reveals for us a lot of symbols hidden in this story. For example, at the end of the story, one can notice the strand of Emily’s hair. It is a reminder of her lost love and happiness. There is also a phenomenal symbol – the symbol of lime. Its main purpose was to hide the awful odor from the Emily’s mansion. It is a symbol of a useless effort to hide something embarrassing, and terrible. Lime is also a symbol of the way how all things were done in the town – just conceal it without regard.
This story is about a life of a young girl whose dad passed away. Due to this fact, she got ill and rarely came out from her inherited mansion. Her father was very strict man and literally “stole” her youth by not choosing a husband for her, as was the custom of the era. Instead, he rejected anybody who could have been a potential mate for his Emily. After some time, Emily met a man – Homer Barron, who was kind to her. However, later she poisoned him and sealed him in the upstairs level of her mansion. Nobody ever saw him again. After 40 years, when Emily died, this chamber was opened, and the decayed body was found, next to the distinct indentation of a head and a strand of Emily’s hair.
How is the story narrated? It is narrated in second person.
Is the narrator identified as a character? No.
Is it narrated in the past or present tense? In present.
Is it narrated in the first, second or third person? It is narrated in second person.
Do you know what every other character is thinking, or only some
characters, or more? We know what some characters are thinking.
Who are the characters? Citizens of Yoknapatawpha.
Who’s the protagonist (hero, heroin)? Emily Grieson.
Who is the antagonist (villain, opponent, obstacle)? Homer Barron, Mr. Grieson.
Who were the other characters? Mr. Grieson, Homer Barron, Judge Stevens, Tobe, Colonel Sartoris
What is their role in their story? They interact with main character.
Do your expectations change with those of the characters, or do you know
more or less than each of the characters? I know more than each of them.
What is the setting of the story? Dark and mysterious town.
When does the story take place? 1860-1933.
Where does it take place? Yoknapatawpha, Mississippi County.
Does the story move from one setting to another? No.
Does it move in one direction only or back and forth in time and place? One direction only.
What do you notice about how the story is written? It is written in grotesque, gothic style prose.
What is the style of the prose? Vigorous style.
Are the sentences in the vocabulary simple or complex? They are complex.
Are there any images, figures of speech or symbols? Plenty of symbols, i.e. – lime.
What is the tone or mood? Does the reader feel sad, amused, worried, curious? It feels terrified and puzzled.
What does the story mean? It means the struggle of traditions and changes.
Can you express its theme or themes? Tradition versus Change and The Power Of Death
What did you expect? I expected another ending.
After the first events or interactions of characters? I expected that it would be very interesting story.
As the conflict is resolved? I didn’t expect such ending.
What happens in the story? Description of a poor young girl that struggles to stay sane.
Do the characters or the situation change from the beginning to the end. Yes.
Faulkner, William, and M. Thomas Inge. (1970). A Rose for Emily. Columbus, Ohio: Merrill.
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