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William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily Essay

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William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily"


As any reader can see, " A Rose for Emily" is one of the most authentic short stories by Faulkner. His use of characterization, narration, foreshadowing, and symbolism are four key factors to why Faulkner's work is idealistic to all readers.

     The works of William Faulkner have had positive effects on readers throughout his career. Local legends and gossip trigger the main focus of his stories. Considering that Faulkner grew up in Mississippi, he was very familiar with the ways of the South. This award winning author has been praised by many critics for his ability and unique style of writing. One of Faulkner's most popular works, which also was his first short story nationally published in 1930, "A Rose for Emily" is one of the most authentic short stories by Faulkner. By writing about the political and social ways of the South, Faulkner was able to create an illusion of the New South as being what we know today as mainstream America. His use of characterization, narration, foreshadowing, and symbolism are four key factors to why Faulkner's work is idealistic to all readers.

     Faulkner's use of characterization in "A Rose for Emily" is clearly important to the story. It is obvious to all readers that Miss Emily Grierson is the protagonist, or the principle character. According to a prominent critic, Elizabeth Sabiston, "Emily is a gothic character" (142). Sabiston is referring to Emily that way because of the fact that she slept with skeleton of her lover Homer Barron for forty years. She was awfully stubborn in the opinion of the townspeople. This stubbornness also ties in with Emily's ability to live in reality. After she refused to pay her taxes, directly to the mayor, she tells them to go see Colonel Satoris, who has been dead for ten years. This portrays that Emily's illusion of reality was greatly distorted. Miss Emily was motivated by her lover, Homer, she isolated herself in an old decaying house and she refused to recognize that time had passed. Emily was proud, disdainful and seemingly independent. This shows the importance of characterization. Without these characters, the story would be radically changed. When the reader understands Emily, they can achieve a clearer view of the actions that go on during the story (West 149). Several other characters in "A Rose for Emily" are set in oppositi...


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.... 158-159.

Howe, Irving. William Faulkner A Critical Study. New York: Random House, 1951-52.      265.

Madden, David. "A Rose for Emily." vol. 5 of Masterplots II Short Story Series. Pasadena:      Salem Press, 1986. 1986-1989.

McMichael,George. ed. "A Rose for Emily." Concise Anthology of American Literature.      Fourth edition. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1998. 1922-1929.

Pierce, Constance. "William Faulkner." vol. 3 of Critical Survey of Short Fiction.      Pasadena: Salem Press, 1990. 848-857.

Sabiston, Elizabeth. "Faulkner". Vol. 52 of Contemporary Literary Criticism. Ed. Daniel      G. Marowski and Roger Matuz. Detroit, Michigan: Gale Research, 1989. 142.

West, Ray B. Jr. "A Rose for Emily." Short Story Criticism. Eds. Laurie Lanzen Harris      and Shelia Fitzgerald. Detroit: Gale Research Company, 1988. page numbers.

Rodriguez, Celia. " An analysis of A Rose for Emily." U of Texas. 3 Sept. 1996.      <http://www.cerl.utexas.edu/~daniel/amlit/reader/south/rodriquezerose.html>

The Mississippi writers page. U of Mississippi. 15 June 2000. <      http://www.olemiss.edu/depts/english/ms-writers/dir/faulkner_william/>




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