What Are Some Literary Devices in ‘A Rose for Emily’?

April 24, 2020 by Essay Writer

The story starts off at a house in Jefferson, Mississippi. The overview of the years will give readers a clue about the overall story. In 1893, Emily’s father dies.

The next year, she meets a guy named Homer Barron and is last seen entering Emily’s home in 1895. The townspeople become concern of the disappearance of Homer. In 1899, Emily stops opening the door and does not leave the house till after five years later. In 1925, the new generation of the IRS comes to ask Ms. Emily about her taxes. Through symbolism, imagery, and allegory, narrative point of view, and theme, we are able to look at “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner deeper than its words.{Transition}.

{Topic sentence}. The house was built in 1870. According to the narrator, he states, an eyesore among eyesores (451). The house is described as a white squarish frame with spires and scrolled balconies. This states that Emily’s father was doing well for his business after the Civil War. The house also is a symbol for family. She wanted to go from daughter to wife to mother, but sadly, that did not happen. She was stuck at just being a daughter. The house was an image of Emily. As Emily grew older, so did the house. As everyone in the town knew she was getting old and was not going to get married any time soon, the previous quote is true; Emily and the house are both coming off as a tragic eyesore. Just as the constant struggle between the past and the future for Emily began, it started to threaten the present. Examples of the symbols of time are: curtains, the pocket watch, the strand of hair, and tax. The curtains and the lampshade in the bedroom were described as a rose-colored, which symbolled for love. With each tick of the clock, her chances for happiness starts to descend. Emily’s hair obviously was not gray when she wanted to get married, which states that she was snuggling with Homer’s remaining at old age. The tax symbolizes her father’s death as well as her family’s financials declining. Her father’s money symbolizes chivalry and sexism. The tax is chivalry because it is the only reason why Emily is allowed to live in her father’s house. It relates to sexism because it basically states that women are not able to work and support herself. So, when the people came to her door, it was a sign to tell Ms. Emily that she is not a helpless woman; she is now another citizen to pay taxes.

The point of view is first person. There are three generations in the story: the Jeffersonians, which her father had been a part of; her generations; and the new generation. In the eyes of the new generation, there is no difference between Ms. Emily and the person next to her, which shows a change in tradition. The author is William Faulkner, as stated before. William is from a small town in Mississippi. His family had lost power and money during the Civil War. As readers might have noticed, A Rose for Emily tackles the issues on race, gender, and class in the south. The story is considered gothic literature, which vergers over horror and romanticism.

The themes that regard this story is tradition, loneliness, acceptance, isolation, and letting go. Loneliness ties in with the tax issue. Emily instructed the townspeople to talk to her father for any tax related stuff. This shows that Emily was stuck in the past and did not like change or letting go. She refuses to accept her father’s death. She keeps his body in the house until the townspeople had to come and get him. The same goes for Homer. She had him poisoned so that they could be together when he had rejected marriage. By doing this, she proves herself that she is not at all lonely. There is irony that ties into this. She did not want to be alone so she killed Homer, but yet she isolated herself from the townspeople. Going more into acceptance, Homer is from the North. The townspeople did not like him due to that.

The death of Emily’s father left Emily at a miserable, dark stage. She could not function as her normal self. Thus, killing Homer and keeping his remainings in the basement, where no one could discover his body. A Rose for Emily is more than just its own storyline and words. Its usage of symbolism, imagery, and allegory, point of view, and themes is what made the story itself unique.

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