Literary Analysis Of A Rose For Emily By William Faulkner Essay

Literary Analysis Essay for “A Rose for Emily”

Modernism is a period of writing where artists broke free from the traditional way of thinking. Works of literature revolved around experiences of loss, despair, and alienation. The format of writing also changed. The plot of the stories no longer unfolds chronologically. Instead, the past, present, and future scenes are blurred together. A portrayal of these characteristics can be found in William Faulkner’s short story, “A Rose for Emily.” The main character, Emily Grierson, becomes a prisoner in her own home and the author of her own demise after the tragic death of her lover. Scholarly, literary critics have written fascinating reports on Faulkner’s famous short story. Particularly Claudia Clausius, who analyzes the meaning in “A Rose for Emily”, Aubry Binder who explored the imagery used by Faulkner, and Paul Harris and Ray B. West who discussed the parallel between Miss Emily and the house she lives in. Faulkner uses imagery of the Grierson house to depict Miss Emily’s isolation and alienation.

Claudia Clausius describes the house as a reflection of Emily’s mind. She explains in her criticism how the progression of time relates to the representation of the setting. Clausius continues to describe how Emily fits into her setting by stating, “The house itself, with its closed front door, its darkened upper story, and its dusty secrets, is an ironic representation of Miss Emily’s mind” (Clausius 1). Although there is a very strong connection between Emily and the house, her mind and her thoughts are only speculation. In the short story the narrator says, “After her father’s death she went out very little; after her sweetheart went away, people hardly saw her at all” (Faulkner 301). …

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…y’s extreme measures of aloneness that she chose in her later years of life.

In “A Rose for Emily” William Faulkner uses imagery to depict Emily Grierson’s lonesome life. Additionally, the literary critics’ interpretations further support the story Faulkner tells. The Grierson house was abandoned and left in shambles. Inside the house Emily was much the same, alone and unstable. The people in her community acted out towards her as she stood back, secluded, and watched it happen. Emily’s best kept secret is revealed after her death. It becomes obvious that the contents of the room above her stairs caused her an unimaginable amount of grief and was the final straw that led to her removing herself from the outside world. This lifelong sadness occurred undoubtedly as a result of using a coping strategy to deal with the difficult situations in life such as death and loss.

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