Untitled Essay Research Paper Melissa ClarkArchetypes in

Untitled Essay, Research Paper

Melissa ClarkArchetypes in A Rose for Emily

Archetypes are, by definition, previous images, characters,

or patterns that recur throughout literature and though consistently enough

to be considered a universal concept or situation. Archetypes also can be

described as complexes of experiences that come upon us like fate, and their

effects are felt in our most personal life. A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner

contains many of this particular critical method. Although there are several

archetypes found, the most important is Emily’s father.

Archetypes are like riverbeds which dry up when the water

deserts them, but it can find it again at any time. This short story offers

many interpretations. However, the structure of the story breaks down into

two stages: past and present. By examining the archetypes within the story,

it can be suggested that Emily’s over-protective father stands to represent

Emily’s feminist struggle, the ongoing battle for women to have an equal

place in society. Emily should be able to do as she pleases, but her dependence

her father does not allow her to have that freedom.

Her father’s over-protection is evident in this passage,

“We remembered all the young men her father had driven away, and we

knew that with nothing left, she would have to cling to that which had robbed

her, as people will” (279). Her father robs her from many of life’s

necessities. She misses out on having friends, being a normal

“woman,” and her ability to be happy. Emily is not able to live

a normal life which she indirectly blames on her father. Emily is so used

to having her father be there for her, she figures that by keeping his body

he can still be part of her life.

The Jungian archetype of this feminist struggle can be

noted as: Emily is not able to live a normal life because her father keeps

under his thumb. In relation to keeping her father’s body, she keeps

Homer Barron’s body so long because she feels that she has finally

accomplished something in her life. Emily is not ready to give up that feeling.

The feminist struggle is hard to detect but it is still there.

In conclusion, there are two archetypes in A Rose for

Emily: Emily’s father and Homer Barron. Emily’s father is the chief

archetype because he is the reason for Emily’s breakdowns. She has been

scarred for life which she obviously never over comes.


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