Sample Essay On A Rose For Emily – By William Faulkner
Southern Gothic has been important mainly for the American literature and it has produced many unique masterpieces of literature including A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner. A Rose for Emily is one of the most appreciated stories of Faulkner by the literary pundits and critics. This story is about the life of Emily Grierson who has lived alone after the death of her father. She did not have any relative or friend to take care of her, except her servants. This story shows how a life gets isolated when his/her family, friends and neighbors leave. Faulkner is a writer par excellence. He has a florid writing style which is full of literary embellishment. Faulkner has a deep and intimate psychological understanding of the human condition (Perry, 35). Most of the episodes in the story have a unique Gothic flavor, more so because Faulkner being a master craftsman with words uses a fancy vocabulary. In addition Faulkner in keeping with his writing style makes use of complex sentences structures and unique motifs. Emily’s life was totally devoid of any exuberance or luster that befits her age. As portrayed by Faulkner Emily, the heroin lacks all the will to enjoy life as she exhibits no will to escape, even for a moment, her physical and mental confines. Emily is the prisoner of her imaginary world and Faulkner beautifully exploits her situation through the use of all the Gothic props at his disposal (Perry, 35).
Faulkner in this Gothic tale narrates the solitary life and death of Emily. The title of the story is ‘A Rose for Emily’, but the actual fact is that Emily led a lonely existence shod of any love or a beloved and surely never dreamt of or got any roses in her hard and wasted life. The story in keeping with the somber atmosphere and mood of the story cheerlessly begins at the sad note at the funeral of Miss Emily Grierson. Emily the reader is informed has lived a sad depilated old ancestral home for a decade. The decay and the decadence is made more prominent by Faulkner with the funeral setting (Perry, 35).
The main themes that pervade the whole story are the unceremonious and uneventful existence and the unrequited emotions of the protagonist. The haunted, ghost-like existence and the past of the main character of this story, Emily, at times make the reader emotional as the lost memories of Emily are masterly unveiled layer-by-layer by Faulkner. This Gothic tale is not much different from Faulkner’s other writings as he employs the technique of the flashbacks throughout the story. The readers are introduced to Emily as a young girl as she happily spends her time with her father. And the story gradually unfolds and the readers find the unmarried, unloved Emily as an old woman who meets a miserably lonely end. Faulkner portrays past in his stories interestingly with such an impeccable sense of reality. So vivid are his depictions of Emily’s immediate environ and the society that the reader is never bored with the accounts of the daily chores that the sense of time is lost and the reader is drawn-into Faulkner’s world, or more appropriately Emily’s world (Qun_ying, 1).
Besides the past the other main themes of the story are the feelings of forgiveness and of kindness. It is more about the motivation and understanding of facts from past and present and the whole story seems to discuss the humane acts of forgiveness, of kindness, of care and the understanding. Faulkner employs the singularly emotional tone throughout the story whenever he recounts the events from Emily’s past life. A Rose for Emily is also the tale of a living, throbbing town and of the diverse aspects of the life in the town but emotions dominate all else. Faulkner, the narrator of the tale, A Rose for Emily lives in the same town as Emily and not only that but he (the narrator) is perhaps the most caring, the most understanding, and the most responsible person in the town where the whole action of the story takes place. The narrator because of his better judgment is the only person in the story that seems to know and in ways console with the way Emily has opted to spend her life. Thos is the sole reason why the narattor because of his sound understanding and better judgment goes against the majority of the people who consider Emily either a lunatic or a witch.
Faulkner is confessing those crimes done by the other people of this town and highlights the issue middle-class people counter in any society (Watkins, 508-510). Faulkner narrated how people of this town wanted Emily to kill herself. It shows how angry Faulkner is and why he wanted them to help Emily instead of bullying her. This also shows forgiveness and hope. Again, the concept of hope comes from the title of story ‘A Rose for Emily.’ If we put ourselves in the position of Faulkner, we would get to know how he felt during the entire story and why he was on Emily’s side. Faulkner wished roses for Emily, brings hope in the story, and forgives people from his town for their behavior towards Emily.
Ending of the story is shocking and unpleasant (Crosman, 207). It ends where Homer Barron came to known with the town. Nobody would have ever known him if Emily was not dead. Ending of the story sounds a bit sad, but it follows the sequence and generates reader’s interest. People of the town might have known Homer Barron long ago, but Faulkner had created suspense at the end. Emily was left alone because the people of new generation were not agree to accept old traditions and no one was ever agree on leaving their kids with her. On the other hand, if Emily was arrested before, the ending of the story would be different than this.
Crosman, Robert. "How readers make meaning." College Literature (1982): 207-215.
Perry, Menakhem. "Literary dynamics: How the order of a text creates its meanings [with an analysis of Faulkner's" A rose for Emily"]." Poetics Today(1979): 35-361.
Qun_ying, M. I. A. O. "A Rose in the Dark House--An Analysis of the Causes of Emily's Tragedy and the Theme [J]." Journal of Guangzhou University (Social Science Edition) 5 (2002): 004.
Watkins, Floyd C. "The Structure of a Rose for Emily"." Modern Language Notes (1954): 508-510.