Preview
Preview

Symbolism and Theme in William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily Essay

:: 1 Works Cited
Length: 1470 words (4.2 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Blue      
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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 symbolism profoundly develops the theme of the story, bringing to light the issues of morality that arise from a young woman's struggle to find love.

Faulkner provides the necessary pieces of symbolism, speckled through out the action of the story, for the reader to assimilate and assemble. Curiously, it is a broken time line that Faulkner follows, that allows him to achieve maximum effect at the end of the story. The placement of the conclusion or denouement at the beginning of the story, allows the curiosity of the reader to become strongly engaged on the character of Emily Grierson. As the narration begins with the funeral of Emily, the juxtaposition of the image received in the opening paragraph, is sharply compared to that of the information found in the third paragraph. Where in the first the town has come to pay respects to a fallen monument, in the third it is learned that she was really, "...a duty, and a care; a sort of hereditary obligation upon the town..." (276).

The story progresses through flashbacks, and Emily is heard speaking to the gentlemen representing the Board of Aldermen, and it is noticed that she is wearing a thin gold watch chain. It is not until a lull takes place after the spokesman announces the purpose of their visit, that they then,"... could hear the inv...


... middle of paper ...


...uest for love and security, and Emily has provided this for herself. Whether she knew the process through which she gained it was moral or not remains a mystery whose answer died with her. She sought refuge from the cold, and inhospitable environment of abandonment. She sought to get away from the only life she ever knew. The strategic placement of symbolism in the action of this story, provides vast areas with depth of knowledge from which the theme comes forth. The reader is pulled into character early on, by placing the conclusion up front, and placing the falling action at the end of the story. This creates a greater sense of surprise or shock value, and may even evoke a sense of true pity for Emily from the reader.

Work Cited

Faulkner, William. “A Rose for Emily.” Literature for Composition. 4th ed. Ed. Sylvan Barnet, et al. New York: HarperCollins, 1996.


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper








This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
The Central Theme and Symbolism of William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily Essay - 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 the literal meaning of Faulkner's story implies many different conclusions, it is primarily the psychological and symbolic aspects, which give the story meaning....   [tags: William Faulkner A Rose Emily Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
1896 words
(5.4 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Essay about Symbolism in A Rose For Emily - The main symbolism running throughout A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner, is the theme of how important it is to let go of the past. Miss Emily clings to the past and does not want to be independent. The Old South is becoming the new South and she cannot move forward. The residents of the South did not all give in to change just because they lost the Civil War. In A Rose for Emily time marches on leaving Miss Emily behind as she stubbornly refuses to progress into a new era. In the story, symbolism is used to give more details than the author actually gives to the reader....   [tags: A Rose For Emily, William Faulkner] 1014 words
(2.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
A Rose for Emily Essays - "A Rose for Emily" is a wonderful short story written by William Faulkner. It begins with at the end of Miss Emily’s life and told from an unknown person who most probably would be the voice of the town. Emily Grierson is a protagonist in this story and the life of her used as an allegory about the changes of a South town in Jefferson after the civil war, early 1900's. Beginning from the title, William Faulkner uses symbolism such as house, Miss Emily as a “monument “, her hair, Homer Barron, and even Emily’s “rose” to expresses the passing of time and the changes....   [tags: A Rose For Emily, William Faulkner] 1032 words
(2.9 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily Essay - 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 love and care.      The characteristics of Miss Emily’s house, like her physical appearance, are brought about by years of neglect....   [tags: A Rose for Emily, William Faulkner] 650 words
(1.9 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Themes in William Faulkner´s A Rose for Emily Essay - ... When the gentlemen came to her door to collect her taxes Emily said “See Colonel Sartoris, I have no taxes in Jefferson”. In the reading it mentions how Colonel Sartoris has been dead for almost ten years. The quote displays how her father did everything for her and she was not able to pay taxes. Like Emily's way of doing things, the house decayed over time. The title of “A Rose For Emily” has symbolism in it itself. A rose represents love thus Homer is the “rose” for Emily. Her father thought no man was good enough for her until she met Homer and fell in love for the first time....   [tags: Aristocracy, Murder, Symbolism]
:: 1 Works Cited
1236 words
(3.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily Essay - 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....   [tags: William Faulkner Rose Emily Essays]
:: 9 Works Cited
1538 words
(4.4 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Symbolism in William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily Essay - ... Because of this, Emily was never able to experience love until the day she met Homer. A rose is also able to symbolize silence. This can be interpreted throughout the story that Homer was still Emily's rose, but then known as her "secret." Emily cherished and loved Homer and kept him to herself after his body was corrupted throughout time. Many women dry out roses in order to keep them forever. Emily was known to have a distorted and out of the ordinary mind, and with this said, she wanted to keep Homer forever by "drying out her rose." The room where she placed Homer Barron was described as having "rose-shaded lights" (330) which also can connect to the symbol of the rose....   [tags: South, Civil War]
:: 1 Works Cited
898 words
(2.6 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner Essay example - In Faulkner’s, “A Rose for Emily”, Emily lives in a world of her own making. This is because townspeople in Jefferson holds Miss Emily in such high regards. To them, she symbolizes the customs of the old south, or what the town Jefferson once was. For Emily and also for the townspeople time is relative, the past is an ever-present realm in Jefferson. For this reason people wish to respect Emily and preserve her customs; even if it means intruding into her personal life, or turning the cheek towards her suspicious actions....   [tags: old south, symbolism, metaphor]
:: 6 Works Cited
951 words
(2.7 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Literary Devices in William Faulkner's A Rose For Emily Essay - “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 the main character’s aged lifespan, the townsfolk notice Miss Emily’s reclusiveness increase after the loss of her father, Mr....   [tags: Symbolism, Gothic Tone]
:: 1 Works Cited
1119 words
(3.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Analysis of A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner - With every turn of the page, the dark and twisted storyline of “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner leaves the reader in a stronger state of shock and inevitably speechless. Faulkner cleverly uses symbols, characters, and theme to illustrate the inner thoughts of Emily Grierson and the community’s ongoing struggle between tradition and modernism. . One of the most prominent symbols in the story is Emily’s house. The house represents the destruction of the primitive Southern families and aristocracy that surrounded the neighborhood....   [tags: traditional values, modernism, symbolism] 947 words
(2.7 pages)
Better Essays [preview]