Comparative Essay: Dry September & A Rose For Emily Essay, Research Paper
Dry September and A Rose for Emily are two stories that explores life of two small towns, each having similarities as well as differences in the way it was written. In analyzing the two stories, we will reveal the emotions of the characters, the tone of the story, and how the setting is used to show the feeling of the story. in doing so, we will discover the style Faulkner uses to employ his tone on the story and to get a better understanding of the two stories.
McLendon, one of the characters of Dry September is a racist, ignorant, suprimist dictator. We discover this by McLendons actions throughout the story. In one situation, McLendon rally?s up a group of white men to commit a crime against an African American accused of attacking a white women. He doesn?t use reason and the only thing in his mind is to get this person and lynch him. He is dictatorial and is found saying, “Happen? What the hell difference does it make? Are you going to let the Black sons get away with it until one really does it?no talking necessary at all. I?ve done my talking. Who?s with me?” This reveals the power he has over people, making them choose to either be compassionate to an African American in the South during the mid 1900s or to a white southern women during an era where racial discrimination was considered acceptable in America.
Another character of Dry September is the barber, who seems to be the opposite of McLendon. The barber is compassionate, reasonable, and weak. In the beginning of the story, the barber seems to be the only person in the barber shop who reasons with McLendon, commenting that “Will Mayes never done it. I know.” That reveals the barbers relation to Will Mayes, that he cares about him and that he is willing to hold is emotions till the truth is revealed. But ultimately the barber turns coward, unable to convince the men that what they?re doing is wrong. That?s revealed when Will Mayes turns to him and begs him to save him. Unable to stand up for him, the barber stays silent, and in doing so, signs Will Mayes death sentence.
The setting of Dry September is set so that the characters are believable and that the situation is clear and defined. Phrases like ?bloody September twilight” and “day had died in a pall of dust” reveals a tense situation which perfectly fits the subject. Other phrases like “62 rainless days” and “fire in dry grass” reveal the tension and uneasiness of the town.
In A Rose for Emily, Faulkner makes us feel pity and sympathy for Emily. Throughout most of her younger years, Emily was intensely protected by her father. That shows her dependence for a powerful figure in her life. When her father died, Emily was unable to accept that he had died. She broke down when the townspeople finally did take the body away, probably knowing that she no longer has anyone to look out for her. This makes her look pathetic as she is unable to be independent
Another reason why we feel pity for Emily is that she can?t seem to feel any form of happiness and security in her life. One example is with her lover. She only finds security and happiness after she poisons her boyfriend in an effort to keep him from leaving her, like how her father left her. Knowing that he will be with her forever, Emily hides that her boyfriend had died and locks him up in one of her rooms. This would lead us to believe that Emily is a sick and demented women, if for the fact that she had slept by his side for forty or so years. This shows her love for him, and how devoted she was to him. It makes her look pathetic and we feel sorry for her instead of the initial reaction of a crazed woman.
The setting in A Rose for Emily helps set the readers thoughts of a pathetic and helpless woman. Emily lives in a run-down southern plantation mansion, worn down due to time. Dust fills the surroundings and weeds are rampant. The description of her house parallels her image. Like the house, she is worn down due to age. Her house is neglected, no one except for a single black servant there. We imagine the house to be as pathetic as her.
The townspeople in A Rose for Emily also reinforce her image of a sad creature. When the townspeople discover her dead, all they can do is gossip and bring her image down. During her younger years, the town was extremely nosy. Everything that happened to her, every event that involved her, the town was right there to know. It?s as if Emily was an attraction from a circus. Because of this, we again are forced to feel sympathetic for Emily, as she is judged and ridiculed by the townspeople.
At the end, we are both left pity for both Emily and McLendon and the barber. The main difference is that for Emily, we feel sympathetic of her life and how she couldn?t move away from a dependent existence, we wanted her to move on. While for McLendon we feel pity in the fact that he is ignorant and is a person who can?t do something without a mob to follow him. For the barber, we feel pity in the fact that he couldn?t stand up, and do something courageous and noble.