In Memory Of Emily Grierson Essay, Research Paper
In the short story A Rose for Emily, (1930) William Faulkner presents Miss Emily s instable state of mind through a missed sequence of events. Faulkner arranges the story in fractured time and then introduces characters who contribute to the development of Miss Emily s personality. The theme of isolation is also presented by Faulkner s descriptive words and symbolic images.
Faulkner uses anachronism to illustrate Miss Emily s confused mind. The story is split into five sections. The first section begins with Miss Emily s funeral and moves on to her past. Faulkner first recaptures the dispensation of Miss Emily s taxes in 1894, he continues by illustrating Miss Emily s nature no to accepts new concepts. When the next generation, with its more modern ideas comes along, Miss Emily refuses to accept them (1009). Miss Emily s mixed feeling about the past is reflected in the structure of the story. Unlike most stories, the narrator does not continue the plot with the next chronological event rather presents one that happened two years earlier. This switch once again mirrors Miss Emily s unclear state of mind. The story s disjointed time frame not only reflects a puzzled memory but it also suggests Miss Emily s unwillingness to move along with time. While the reader reads through time and expects the story to be in sequence, Faulkner deliberately switches the time back and forth to emphasize Miss Emily s desire to stay in past.
After the author introduces the character of Miss Emily, he goes back even further into the past to explain why Miss Emily possesses her unique personality. He also contributes to the development of Miss Emily s personality through the introduction of her father, Homer Barron, and Miss Emily s great aunt who all influence her maturity and experience of life. The primary figure in Miss Emily s life is her father. Faulkner uses this relationship to reveal Miss Emily s reserved nature. Because her father is an upper class figure, some of his ways of thinking has thwarted [Miss Emily s] life (1013). Miss Emily has always been kept in confined environments that only her father knows what she will do. The event of her father s death is a shock to Miss Emily because the guidance of her father is gone. This explains Miss Emily s behavior after her father s death as well as her reaction to another character, Homer Barron. Homer Barron is the first lower-class person to reach Miss Emily after her father s death. While Miss Emily is still distressed by her father s death, homer s affection brings Miss Emily out of her grief. Homer Barron therefore frees Miss Emily from her reserved nature. However, the news that homer Barron is leaving town for another women pushes Miss Emily to the edge of insanity, While Miss Emily s father and Homer Barron influences Miss Emily to have the confused personality she does, Faulkner also suggests her insane behavior may be inherited. The insanity of Miss Emily s great aunt, old lady Wyatt, suggests that Miss Emily s craziness may be passed on from her family line. By informing the reader about old lady Wyatt s insanity, Faulkner foreshadows Miss Emily s own madness.
Not only does the author use many details to express Miss Emily s isolation, but he also uses many descriptive words. To suggest Miss Emily s separation from the modern society, Faulkner uses words such as coquettish decay , tarnished gold, and nobles oblique to depict the past. (1008-1014) Faulkner expands the paradox coquettish decay to illustrates the fact that Miss Emily s house is different from any other house in the community (1009). While Miss Emily s house used to be a magnificent building in town, it has now turned to be an eyesore among eyesores (1008). With the paradox of coquettish decay, Faulkner contrasts the attractiveness of the house in the past with the unattractiveness of it in the present. The comparison between the old and the new display explains why the house is separated from the other houses. Another word Faulkner uses to reflect the past is tarnished . (1009) As Faulkner describes Miss Emily in her old age, he uses tarnished gold head to described Miss Emily s cane. (1009) While gold is regarded as an expensive material with a shiny and smooth surface, Faulkner alters the description of gold. By describing gold as being tarnished, Faulkner suggests the ageing and decay of the cane as well as Miss Emily herself. Other than using words to describe the past, Faulkner also uses phrases such as noblesse oblique to illustrate Miss Emily s isolation. (1011) By using this phrase, Faulkner implies the honorable behavior Miss Emily once had that leads her to the separation from the community both in the past and in the present.
Not only does Faulkner uses descriptive words to state the theme of old age and isolation, but he also uses symbolic images. One symbolic image that Faulkner creates to illustrate the theme of isolation is the image of the house. While Faulkner spends much of his time describing the setting of the house, the descriptions actually refer to Miss Emily s isolation. The house is described as being one that stood on the most select street in town. (1008) Like the house, Miss Emily has once been in the spotlight. As the house stood isolated from the rest of the other houses, Miss Emily is separated from the townspeople. In the same way, while the house becomes a fallen Monument. Miss Emily becomes a pauper . (1009, 1011) By comparing the still house to Miss Emily, Faulkner portrays the atmosphere that Miss Emily is as lifeless as the house itself. Faulkner s description of the house s cupolas and spires and scrolled balconies in its framework, imitates Miss Emily s complex character. (1009) While the townspeople pay attention to the old-fashioned house, they also pay the same respect to the owner of the house, Miss Emily. Faulkner effectively compares the house to Miss Emily.
William Faulkner s short story A Rose for Emily uses many literary devices such as plot to emphasize the theme of mixed memory. While most stores are written in chronological order, this story is broken up into characters to build up Miss Emily s personality both externally and internally. While Faulkner uses Miss Emily s father and homer Barron to affect miss Emily in her environment, Faulkner also old lady Wyatt to suggest the possible inheritance of this unexplainable behavior from her family. Descriptive words are another big part of the story since Faulkner uses them to describe the themes of old age and isolation. While coquettish decay and tarnished gold head is used to compare old to new, noblesse oblique is used to reflect Miss Emily s past. Not only does Faulkner use descriptive words to describe Miss Emily, but he also uses symbolism. Throughout the story, Faulkner uses the description of Miss Emily s house to refer to Miss Emily herself. Miss Emily s once normal behavior and deterioration is captured in the house s old-fashioned look and the decayed look. Faulkner uses all these literary devices to present the themes of mixed memory, old age and isolation.