William Faulkner’s story “A Rose for Emily” is an example of gothic literature. Faulkner shows sadness for the love that is not returned and a drive that Emily uses to get what she wishes for. He has a gloomy and mysterious tone. One of the themes of the story is that people should let go of their past, move on with the present so that they can focus on welcoming their future. Emily was the evidence of a person who always lived in the shadow of her past, because she was afraid of changing for the future. She would not let go of the past throughout all her life, keeping everything she loved in the past with her.
Faulkner starts his story by showing the amount of respect that is shown at Emily’s funeral. It is said that the entire town attended this event, but also that some only showed up to see what the inside of her house looked like because no one had been inside in over ten years. “The men through a sort of respectful affection for a fallen monument, the women mostly out of curiosity to see the inside of her house, which no one save an old manservant- a combined gardener and cook- had seen in at least ten years”(pg.542). He explains this to show the mysterious interest of Emily. By explaining the mystery in Emily, he carries a dark tone that mystifies the audience.
Faulkner then shifts the story toward explaining what Emily’s house had once looked like. It was a big grim house that was once white. “It was a big, squarish frame house that has once been white, decorated with cupolus and spires and scrolled balconies in the heavily lightsome style of the seventies”(542). It was the only one left on the street and many believes that it was an abomination to the community. “set on what had once been our most select s…
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…left on what was once one of the most selected street. The house was alone on that street. Emily’s father had died and she was alone and didn’t know what to do. She found Homer Barron, but he claims he liked men and wasn’t a marrying type. She killed him because she didn’t want him to ever leave. She had nothing to fall back on. She eventually grows sick and dies. She died alone. The house and her were alone with nothing in the world to fall back on.
William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily” has many gothic themes such as, when Emily buys the arsenic and the tomb that lay buried in her house. These themes show that gothic literature consists of cryptic and dark settings and tones. This mysterious story is filled with violent events and creates suspense and terror.
William, Faulkner. Perrine’s Literature: Structure Sound & Sense Eleventh Edition.