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A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner - Research Paper Example

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In the paper “A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner” the author analyzes one of William Faulkner’s most anthologized short stories. It is set in the fictional town of Jefferson. The story is narrated in the background of the rapidly changing Southern society in the post Civil War period…
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A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner
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A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner

Download file to see previous pages... Emily Grierson emerges as one of the strongest female protagonists in American literature. The story revolves round her headstrong personality and she dominates the narrative from start to finish. She is the typical Southern belle, the repressed daughter, the jilted lover and the proud heroine all rolled into one. Even as a murderess, she excites the reader’s sympathy and admiration for the strength of her personality. She towers over every other character in “A Rose for Emily.” She is “the proud, unbending monument of the Old South who somehow triumphs over time and change, thereby evoking admiration conjoined with pity” (Nebeker, 3). Emily Grierson remains William Faulkner’s monument to the post Civil War South in her refusal to accept inevitable change, and her attitude of denial towards circumstances which run contrary to her wishes, which make her fall into murder and insanity. Emily Grierson, as the embodiment of the American South after the Civil War, reflects Faulkner’s commonly known nostalgia and affection for the past glory of the American South in which he lived. “A Rose for Emily” is set in the fictional town of Jefferson, Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi, which is widely acknowledged to be based on Oxford, the town in Mississippi’s Lafayette County where Faulkner spent his life from the age of four. The author includes in Emily’s character the aristocratic pride which will not accept the least hint of charity and the dignity of “a real lady”.“a real lady” (Faulkner, 11). She is Faulkner’s memorial to the old days. The old world chivalry of the South is seen in Judge Steven’s recourse to spreading lime around Miss Emily’s house secretly at night, rather than submit to the impoliteness of accusing “a lady to her face of smelling bad” (Faulkner, 10). Faulkner raises Emily above the common citizens of Jefferson, and enshrines her with the dignity of “an idol in a niche” (Faulkner, 11). At her funeral, as a mark of respect to this monument to the old South, the men come dressed “in their brushed Confederate uniforms” (Faulkner, 11). Miss Emily “has come to stand for a rose-the treasured memory of the old Confederate veterans” (Skinner, 42). Faulkner unequivocally equates Miss Emily with the old South, symbolically showing that the death of his heroine is the death of the old South. Emily is the embodiment of the Southern way of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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