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Rose for emiley written by william faulkner - Essay Example

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Name: Instructor: Course: Date: A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner centers on the life on an old woman called Emily who lived in the Jefferson town (Faulkner 6). Faulkner used his classic streaming consciousness method to tell the story…
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Download file to see previous pages These devices include motifs, themes and symbols; for instance, the theme of tradition versus change, symbol of the hair strands and Emily’s house and motifs such as watching and dust. Themes, symbols and motifs play significance roles in enhancing the story’s plot and of characters’ traits. Themes The theme of ‘tradition versus change’ is notable throughout the story, particularly through Emily’s mysterious figure through which Faulkner demonstrates the struggles, which emerge from attempting to maintain tradition in light of sweeping change. Jefferson town is at the crossroad, accepting a modern commercial future while remaining perched in the past. This is notable in the eroded glory of the Grierson home to the cemetery where the town buried unknown Civil War (Faulkner 83). Emily is part of the tradition, steadfastly remaining unchanged over the years regardless of the countless changes occurring in her community. She represents traditions which people seek to honor, but she is also a burden cut off from the external world as she nurses odd behaviors that others do not comprehend. In essence, Faulkner uses the theme of ‘tradition versus change’ to show how Emily inhabits a timeless vacuum, as well as the world conjured by her imagination. For instance, Emily refuses to have metallic numbers embedded to her house when Jefferson receives modern mail services. While Jefferson holds traditional notions, such as reputation and honor in high regard, the narrator is rather critical towards the old men who wore Confederate uniforms to Emily’s funeral. The narrator notes that like Emily, the old men considered time a relative element. The theme of the power of death also enhances the story’s plot. Death permeates the story from the mention of Emily’s death at the beginning of the story (Faulkner 11). In all instances, death prevails over all attempts to master it. For instance, Emily who is a key fixture in her community slowly succumbs to death. The narrator compares Emily to a drowned woman who is bloated and pale after staying too long in the water. Emily tries to exert power over death by denying its existence. This is most notable through Emily’s treatment of Homer, after the death of the latter. Motifs The story encompasses motifs such as dust, which underscores decay and deteriorations. The dust which covers Emily’s house is a fitting description of the lives which faded within the house. Faulkner writes that when the aldermen went to secure Emily’s tax payments, Emily’s house smelt of dust and disuse, and the dust rose when they sat. This demonstrates the degree to which Emily’s house was a place of stasis in which memories and regrets remained undisturbed. The dust also portrays the cloud of obscurity which hides Emily’s nature as well as the secrets inherent in her house (Faulkner 112). A Rose for Emily also encompasses the motif of watching in which Emily is the subject of the narrator and Jefferson townspeople’s intense controlling stare. Instead of establishing real connections with Emily, the townspeople establish subjective and imprecise interpretations of the woman they hardly know. The townspeople attended Emily’s funeral under the pretense of honor and respect, but they wanted to satisfy their curiosity regarding the town’s most eccentric person. Perhaps the most ironic dimension of the story is that of the theorizing and gossiping which the townspeople do behind Emily’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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A Rose for Emily, William Faulkner
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