“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. The central theme of the story is decay in the town, the house, and in Miss Emily herself. It shows the way in which we all grow old and decay and there is nothing permanent except change.
Miss Emily’s house is one of the important symbols which represent the past because it rejects updating like Miss Emily. The “… house had once been white, decorated with cupolas and spires and scrolled balconies in the heavily lightsome style of the seventies, set on what had once been our most select street” (209).Then it ages with Emily an “eyesore among eyesores” (209). She had once been “a slender figure in white” (211) and later she looks “bloated, like a body long submerged in motionless water… her eyes lost in the fatty ridges of her face…” (210). She represents the Old South by her actions. She avoided to believe that time were changing and did not join the new society. She even does not come out. One example of Emily lives in the past is when she refuses to pay the tax.
Throughout the Eighteen Years of my life I read many interesting short stories. Some stories where more eye catching than others. Furthermore “A Rose For Emily” by William Faulkner and “Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka were not on the top of my list. In my opinion, the stories were eye catching because of how the author made its characters react and respond toward the suspense and eeriness in certain parts of the climax of the stories. For example, in “A Rose For Emily” the ladies of the community said “We did not say she was crazy then. We believed that she had to do that” (Faulkner 81) These two lines were said about Emily after the people found out about the death of Emily’s father and they knew that she was keeping his body inside of her house because she could not let go of her father. The eeriness about this is that they did not think it was weird at all. Furthermore, these two stories look to me just like every other story that I have read from other authors. Nevertheless, when I started to look into the concepts and ironies, the stories reveal an aspect about how the characters progress and why do they progress a certain way throughout the story. On the other hand, not only did I start to create an interest towards them, but I caught how they were alike in many unusual aspects. “A Rose For Emily” and “Metamorphosis” develop a climax similar to one another because they both have unpredictable events, rare responses of those events, a theme that connects theme, and a twist to an unpredictable endings.
The short story A Rose for Emily, by William Faulkner first comes off as a disturbing story. When you realize that Miss Emily Grierson, who is the main character in this story, kills the man she’s though to be in love with, all you can really think is that she’s crazy. I think the conflict in the story is Miss Emily not being able to find love. With her father not giving her a chance to date, thinking that there was no one good enough for her. Then, the only man she has been able to love dies, which is her father. Once she has fallen “in love”, she murders her lover. Miss Emily’s necessity for love has caused her to be unable to distinguish fantasy with reality.
William Faulkner begins his short story, “A Rose for Emily” with the funeral of the main character, Emily Grierson (30). Emily is a quiet woman. It is said that nobody has been in her house for ten years, excluding her servant (30). Supposedly, her house used to be the best one around. The town also has a different connection with Miss Grierson. She is the only person in the town who is not forced to pay taxes. For years the town neither makes her pay, nor harasses her with tax notification letters to pay her taxes, until now. The younger generations who work hard and remain loyal taxpayers are not thrilled by this and decide to visit Emily in an attempt to get her to pay her debt. They try to get her to believe the old plan will not work anymore, yet she blatantly refuses this idea and does not pay (30). Apparently, thirty years prior to this attempt, the tax collectors of the town have a strange encounter with the Grierson residence. Two years after her dad’s passing and the mysterious disappearance of her lover, a tax collector notices a pungent odor emanating from her home that becomes a stronger and stronger scent. This leads to many complaints from the townspeople. However, the authorities of the town do not want to have a confrontation with Emily, so, instead, “they broke open the cellar door and sprinkled lime there, and in all the outbuildings” (31). The smell eventually subsides “after a week or two” (32). People