Literary Analysis Essay Research Paper Literary Analysis

Literary Analysis Essay, Research Paper

Literary Analysis: “A Rose for Emily” William Faulkner

In William Faulkner’s story “A Rose for Emily,” the rose symbolizes many things

from love, to hate, to revenge, and her feeling of being neglected. Emily is living a sad

life. When she is growing up her father isolates her, and after his death, she is still sad and

miserable. Her father leaves her alone, completely alone, and “a pauper, she had become

humanized.” The greatest thing that a rose can symbolize is love, and Emily finds her

“sweetheart” when the city contracts for the sidewalks to be paved one year after her

father’s death. Even though the women in the town can only say “poor Emily,” at this

single point in her life Emily is happy, but as soon as Emily’s life seems to move forward

where she can be happy and love somebody, the thorns of the rose appear, and Emily’s life

starts to shred. Emily, believing that Homer will marry her, finds the horrible truth that

“he is not a marrying man.” Homer likes men and a life of drinking at the Elk’s Club, and

again the town people say “poor Emily” when Homer leaves. Emily feels a hatred toward

Homer for humiliating her. As expected by the town, Homer returns within three days.

Emily wants revenge as the thorns of the rose appear inside her. She wants Homer to be

with her for the rest of her life, so Emily’s solution is to kill Homer. She dresses him in an

outfit she has bought him, and Emily lies him on the bed feeling that Homer will now

always be with her. The final symbolization of the rose is neglect. Emily feels neglected

by Homer, so she closes her front door forever to be with Homer and to wilt and die. The

rose creates a great metaphor when comparing it to Emily’s life. The title fits almost

perfectly, but “The Rose in Emily” is more appropriate. This is a more becoming title

because Emily’s life starts out closed with her father then opens with Homer only to

quickly wilt and crumble. Even though most of Emily’s life is filled with the thorn of the

rose, the few red moments that she has will last for eternity because a rose might die, but

its love is forever there.


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