Theme Of Death In William Faulkner's A Rose For Emily

1097 words - 4 pages

Theme of Death in William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily

William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily" is a tragic tale of a Southern aristocrat, Miss Emily Grierson, who is the subject of a town's obsession.  The narrator, a member of the town, tells the story of what transpires in a decaying old Southern house that is always under the watchful eye of the townspeople.  They witness Miss Emily's life, her father's death, her turn to insanity and the death of both her and her lover.  The theme of death runs throughout this tale, which is understandable considering the events that take place in the story.  Faulkner uses foreshadowing to foretell events that will transpire later in the story.  Because of this foreshadowing, a reader may not be shocked when a strange turn in the story occurs, because, it may seem familiar to him.  Faulkner's first use of foreshadowing begins with the death of Miss Emily.  The main character does not usually die in the first sentence of most works of fiction, but here Faulkner is foretelling the deaths of other characters that will follow.  The reader will learn more about Emily's life and death as the story unfolds.

            Emily is only described when she is late in her life and then only as being like a "skeleton" in an "obese" body and looking "bloated, like a body long submerged in motionless water".  Here, Faulkner is using simile in his description of Emily to foreshadow the skeletal remains of Homer, her lover, who is found dead later.  Miss Emily is not seen for years after the disappearance of Homer.  When she is finally seen, she is described as being fatter than before and with her hair beginning to turn gray.  Her hair continues to turning gray until it becomes "pepper and salt" in color "like an active man".  Calling Emily's hair like "an active man", Faulkner is alluding to Homer, whom he describes as a gregarious man. This description of Emily's hair is important, because one of Emily's hairs will be found next to Homer's body, and it also shows how Emily is decaying like the house and items inside.  Early in the story Emily writes a letter on stationary of an "archaic shape" and with "fading ink".  The references here are to the way she is always described growing older and decaying.  Even Emily's house shares her "short squat" characteristic and "coquettish decay".

            The insanity of Miss Emily is also foretold in A Rose for Emily.  When the body of Homer is found in her bed, the reader can understand that Emily killed him, because her mental stability had been questioned a number of times.  The narrator begins these allusions to her mental state when he tells how the mayor, Colonel Sartoris, bestows a special tax exemption upon Miss Emily.  Colonel Sartoris makes up a story so unbelievable that it is described as so outlandish that "only a woman could have believed it".  Later, the townspeople talk about her great-aunt, the lady Wyatt, who had gone completely crazy.  They...

Find Another Essay On Theme of Death in William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily

William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily

666 words - 3 pages William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily In William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily”, the narrative voice is a detached witness to the events in Miss Emily’s life. This is portrayed through its limited omniscience, its shifting viewpoint and its unreliability. The narrators’ limited omniscience is seen through their inability to see into the depths of Miss Emily and her personal life; to see her thoughts, feelings and motives. No one knows the

William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily

2010 words - 9 pages William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily is set in the small southern town of Jefferson during the early decades of the twentieth century . At this time, vast and cardinal changes were being made by the upcoming new south to conceal and move from the horrid truths that were a part of the town's history. In lieu of this, Jefferson was at a turning point in which they were having difficulty coming to terms with these changes . Integrating

William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily

1417 words - 6 pages The short story, “A Rose for Emily,” written by William Faulkner examines the psychological downfall of Emily Grierson, an aristocratic Southern woman, and her inability to cope with changing times. Grierson’s life during her youthful years was filled with an immense amount of tragedy, which left her with the desire to hold as tight as possible to the significant things that brought her happiness. After the death of Emily’s father and the

A review of William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily"

638 words - 3 pages "A Rose for Emily"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

Symbolism in William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily

1156 words - 5 pages William Faulkner's, "A Rose for Emily," is a short story that is narrated by an anonymous character to be considered as the voice of the home town and tells the story out of order. The story is based on the life of Emily Grierson and how it connects with the South after the Civil War. There are many parts in the story that show symbolism in varieties of ways. Some of these symbols include Emily's house, her hair, her clothing, and even the

Literary Devices in William Faulkner's A Rose For Emily

1322 words - 5 pages “A Rose for Emily”, written by William Faulkner, is a southern-gothic short story that initially debuted in the magazine publication Forum, in 1930. The fictional plot opens after the death of the main protagonist, Miss Emily Grierson, the daughter of a once southern, aristocratic businessman. The southern belle fails numerous times to find companionship outside of her immediate family because her father runs off all prospective suitors. During

Foreshadowing in William Faulkner's A Rose For Emily

672 words - 3 pages In the story, A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner the chronology of the story is chopped into pieces and moved around for the reader’s viewing pleasure. William Faulkner demonstrates how giving away part of the ending before the story has begun obligates the reader to investigate the story in order to get the rest of the ending, all the while building suspense for the reader, and building the storyline. The story starts off with part of the

Interpretations of William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily

1506 words - 6 pages William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily" has been interpreted in many different ways. Most of these rely solely on hints found within the story. I believe that his life can also help one analyze this story. By knowing that Faulkner's strongest influence was his independent mother, one can guess that Miss Emily Grierson's character was based partly on Maud Falkner.William Cuthbert Faulkner was born in New Albany, Mississippi on September 25, 1897

Analysis of William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily

348 words - 2 pages In William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily" Faulkner creates a character in Emily Grierson that is very dynamic. She is a strong woman with a great sense of tradition but at the same time she suffers from a very skewed perception of the world. While her seeming insanity drivers her to murder it also seems to be balanced by her character and her strong inner sense of pride, both in herself and in her family.Throughout most of this story Emily

The Destruction of Emily in William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily

1639 words - 7 pages -191. "Comments on A Rose for Emily". Literature for Composition. Ed. Sylvan Barnet. New York: Harper College, 1989. 189-190. Faulkner, William. "A Rose for Emily". The Norton Introduction to Literature. Ed. Carl E. Bain. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1995. 145-150. Fetterley, Judith. "A Rose for A Rose for Emily". Literature for Composition. Ed. Sylvan Barnet. New York: Harper College, 1989. 193-196. West, Ray B. Jr. "Atmosphere and theme in A Rose for Emily". Readings on William Faulkner. Ed. Bruno Leone. San Diego: Greensboro Press, 1991. 65-73.

A Study of the Modernism Elements in William Faulkner's Short Story, A Rose for Emily

1128 words - 5 pages were being paved by new contracts with a northerner, Homer Baren who was Emily`s beloved. She poisoned and murdered him. Many years passes until her death. And in the last section, it is the funeral ceremony taking place and after when the secret is revealed after forty years when Homer was disappeared.According to Schwab, William Faulkner told the story after Emily's death in a series of flashbacks to show time standing still for Emily.The

Similar Essays

Symbolism And Theme In William Faulkner's A Rose For Emily

1472 words - 6 pages Symbolism and Theme in William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily    In William Faulkner's short story "A Rose for Emily," a series of interconnected events collectively represent a single theme in the story. Symbolism is the integral factor involved in understanding the theme. "A Rose for Emily's" dominant theme is the search for love and security, a basic human need which can be met unfavorably in equivocal environments. Faulkner's use of

The Central Theme And Symbolism Of William Faulkner's A Rose For Emily

1976 words - 8 pages William Faulkner's central theme in the story "A Rose For Emily" is to let go of the past. The main character in the story, Emily Grierson, has a tendency to cling to the past and has a reluctance to be independent. Faulkner uses symbols throughout the story to cloak an almost allegorical correlation to the reconstruction period of the South. Even these symbols are open to interpretation; they are the heart and soul of the story. With

William Faulkner's A Rose For Emily

1527 words - 6 pages believing them. Other characters also symbolized other things in the story. Colonel Satoris, the old negro servant, and the older generation of the Board of Alderman symbolized the Old South. The unnamed narrator, the new generation of the Board of Alderman, and the attitude of Homer Barron toward the Grierson's and the Old South symbolized the feelings of the New South (West 148). Most people will agree that William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily

William Faulkner's A Rose For Emily

648 words - 3 pages William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily"      “A Rose for Emily,” is the remarkable story of Emily Grierson, whose death and funeral drew the attention of the town. The bizarre outcome is further emphasized throughout by the symbolism of the decaying house, which parallels Miss Emily’s physical deterioration and demonstrates her ultimate mental disintegration. Emily’s life, like the house which decays around her, suffers from lack of genuine
Husam Chadat | okvail.com | antique vintage carved and soapstone figure of louhan buddha