“A Rose for Emily” a Story by William Faulkner

The story “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner is one of the famous short stories. William Faulkner is one of the well-known American writers of the twentieth century that belongs to the famous Southern writers.

The plot of the story centers on the relationship between the Grierson’s family and the Grierson women. The story covers the problem of the generation gap, the relationship between society and the isolated outcasts that live in their own world. The main topic of the story is the description of the ascetic life of the main protagonist, a solitary woman, Emily Grierson. The main idea of the story lays the problem of upbringing and misunderstanding coming from the outer world. The author reckons upon the problem of loneliness that is depicted through the behavior of the characters of the story.

The main protagonist of the story, Emily Grierson was “a small fat woman in black, with a gold chain descending to her waist and vanishing into her belt….her eyes, lost in the fatty ridges of her face” (William Faulkner, 120) Mostly in the beginning the author gives an unusual description of Emily using personification and comparing her with lifeless subjects: “Miss Emily has been a tradition, a duty and a care”(William Faulkner, 119) That comparison symbolizes the daily routine of Emily’s life. By means of the given stylistic devices, Faulkner emphasizes her remoteness from the society of that time and her indifference to life. This indifference was revealed through her appearance and in indisputable submission to her father. In most cases, the author expresses the psychological state of the main character through her deeds. The writer pays a big attention to the house that reflects the whole atmosphere of the story and transmits all the emotions to the characters. Despite the fact that Emily was of aristocratic origin Grierson’s house was a complete mess characterizing slow degradation of Emily as personality. Moreover the house could also be considered as one more character of the story.

Speaking about the other characters, the particular attention should be attached to “Emily’s beau”, Homer Barron. Emily tries to commit suicide when Homer didn’t propose to her. Hence, before killing herself she poisons Homer and leaves him in the house attic. To make the thing worth the relatives and all people surrounding her call the woman “Poor Emily” (William Faulkner, 125) and by this they repudiate her considering her life doomed to be a failure. Through the whole novel the author tries to highlight the fact that everyone who visited that house felt an enormous pity for the whole family and for Emily in particular. But in fact, this pity expressed contempt to all members of the family. That discloses the unwillingness of Emily to face the reality and her impossibility to differentiate between the actual world and the world created by her. The denouement of the story lies in finding the dead Emily with the corpse of Homer Barron. The paradox lies in the fact that no one even suspected that Emily would somebody since every thinks that she bought arsenic in order to commit suicide. However, when she stays alive no one gives a second idea for what purpose the arsenic was.

The story has a large impact on the development of the Southern literature. In addition, the story reveals a great number of issues that are still burning problems of nowadays. That is the story about people who are not capable of living by present and stay in the past for ever.

Reference list

1. Faulkner, William. Collected Stories of William Faulkner. New York: Random House, 1950.