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Issues of Race, Class and Gender in A Rose for Emily - Essay Example

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Name: Institution: Course: Tutor: Date: Issues of race, class and gender in “A rose for Emily” Introduction William Faulkner is known for use of rhetoric writing especially as it is exhibited in the ‘A rose for Emily’. A rose for Emily is all about a woman with tragic history…
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Issues of Race, Class and Gender in A Rose for Emily

Download file to see previous pages... The use of the derogatory term “negro” is a clear picture of author’s intensions. Faulkner actually conveys the experience of the African American in the period the story was written. By using the tern “negro” or “nigger” to describe African Americans, shows how stripped they were. Faulkner uses some of these derogatory terms to elucidate prejudices suffered by African Americans in the South. Another example is in the text "he who fathered the edict that no Negro woman should appear on the streets without an apron" (308). From this text, one can clearly see that colonel Sartoris’s intentions were to enforce rules in which African Americans were to be seen as workers, not people who socialized. “Of course a Grierson would not think seriously of a Northern, a day laborer" (Faulkner 311) is such an ironic statement which can be examined from different perspectives to bring out different meanings, depending on the reader. However, this statement could be termed as an ironic humor to describe such a pretty and obvious extension of bigotry. The statement could be analyzed to bring out a picture of sexualized master-slave relationship. Fathering the edict seems to in some way be fathering the women, to be fathering that state of affair. Gender The role of gender is apparent in ‘A rose for Emily’. Faulkner’s commentary on role of women in society is clear. He believes that women are inferior to men, something close to second class citizens. For example, in the text, "he who fathered the edict that no Negro woman should appear on the streets without an apron" (Faulkner 308) is an indication of the place of women in the society. In fact, the aspect of gender is clearly portrayed right from the beginning of the story. Faulkner begins the story by saying that “When Miss Emily Grierson died, our whole town went to her funeral: the men through a sort of respectful affection for a fallen monument, the women mostly out of curiosity to see the inside of her house…”. This statement can be analyzed to mean that women are less honorable. Moreover, Faulkner believes that a woman’s true value to society is her appearance. He actually spends a lot of time describing Miss Emily’s appearance throughout the stages of her life. Characteristically, he doesn’t detail any male character as vividly as he does to Emily. Since the text presents just the one word “ fathered, “ one can not be in a position to clearly explain its context by a way or text alone but would find that word heroic, another neutral abstract. Therefore, it can be argued that the sexual- intercourse that took place between whites and Negroes could be a sign of just paternalism. “No one should appear on the streets without an apron” this far, the statement could be portraying and identifying servants that show their state of conduct as workers. This means that they should be distinct from other classes of people. Social class The aspect of social class is portrayed in different ways. The character Tobe highlights the role of race in the setting of the story. Tobe is seen to be disrespected and dehumanized throughout the story. For example, judge Stevens refer to him as “… that nigger of hers...” (Faulkner 319) this evidently shows the dehumanization of blacks as low class people. Amazingly, the townspeople don’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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