A Rose for Emily - In Memory of Emily Grierson


In the short story ??A Rose for Emily,?? (1930) William Faulkner presents Miss Emily??s instable state of mind through a missed sequence of events. Faulkner arranges the story in fractured time and then introduces characters who contribute to the development of Miss Emily??s personality. The theme of isolation is also presented by Faulkner??s descriptive words and symbolic images.
Faulkner uses anachronism to illustrate Miss Emily??s confused mind. The story is split into five sections. The first section begins with Miss Emily??s funeral and moves on to her past. Faulkner first recaptures the dispensation of Miss Emily??s taxes in 1894, he continues by illustrating Miss Emily??s nature no to accepts new concepts. When the ??next generation, with its more modern ideas?? comes along, Miss Emily refuses to accept them (1009). Miss Emily??s mixed feeling about the past is reflected in the structure of the story. Unlike most stories, the narrator does not continue the plot with the next chronological event rather presents one that happened two years earlier. This switch once again mirrors Miss Emily??s unclear state of mind. The story??s disjointed time frame not only reflects a puzzled memory but it also suggests Miss Emily??s unwillingness to move along with time. While the reader reads through time and expects the story to be in sequence, Faulkner deliberately switches the time back and forth to emphasize Miss Emily??s desire to stay in past.
After the author introduces the character of Miss Emily, he goes back even further into the past to explain why Miss Emily possesses her unique personality. He also contributes to the development of Miss Emily??s personality through the introduction of her father, Homer Barron, and Miss Emily??s great aunt who all influence her maturity and experience of life. The primary figure in Miss Emily??s life is her father. Faulkner uses this relationship to reveal Miss Emily??s reserved nature. Because her father is an upper class figure, some of his ways of thinking has ??thwarted [Miss Emily??s] life?? (1013). Miss Emily has always been kept in confined environments that only her father knows what she will do. The event of her father??s death is a shock to Miss Emily because the guidance of her father is gone. This explains Miss Emily??s behavior after her father??s death as well as her reaction to another character, Homer Barron. Homer Barron is the first lower-class person to reach Miss Emily after her father??s death. While Miss Emily is still distressed by her father??s death, homer??s affection brings Miss Emily out of her grief. Homer Barron therefore frees Miss Emily from her reserved nature. However, the news that homer Barron is leaving town for another women pushes Miss Emily to the edge of insanity, While Miss Emily??s father and Homer Barron influences Miss Emily to have the confused personality she does, Faulkner also suggests her insane behavior may be inherited. The insanity of Miss Emily??s great aunt, old lady Wyatt, suggests that Miss Emily??s craziness may be passed on from her family line. By informing the reader about old lady Wyatt??s insanity, Faulkner foreshadows Miss Emily??s own madness.
Not only does the author use many details to express Miss Emily??s isolation, but he also uses many descriptive words. To suggest Miss Emily??s separation from the modern society, Faulkner uses words such as ??coquettish decay??, ??tarnished gold,?? and ??nobles oblique?? to depict the past. (1008-1014) Faulkner expands the paradox ??coquettish decay?? to illustrates the fact that Miss Emily??s house is different from any other house in the community (1009). While Miss Emily??s house used to be a magnificent building in town, it has now turned to be ??an eyesore among eyesores?? (1008). With the paradox of coquettish decay, Faulkner contrasts the attractiveness of the house in the past with the unattractiveness of it in the present. The comparison between the old and the new display explains why the house is separated from the other houses. Another word Faulkner uses to reflect the past is ??tarnished??. (1009) As Faulkner describes Miss Emily in her old age, he uses ??tarnished gold head?? to described Miss Emily??s cane. (1009) While gold is regarded as an expensive material with a shiny and smooth surface, Faulkner alters the description of gold. By describing gold as being tarnished, Faulkner suggests the ageing and decay of