William Faulkner?S ?A Rose For Emily” Essay, Research Paper
William Faulkner?s first published story was ?A Rose for Emily. He wrote many stories after this but one particular that can be compared to this story is a Light in August. Throughout both of these works Faulkner uses his own events from his home in Mississippi and focuses on the themes relating to the ruins of the Deep South in the post- Civil War era. Also in both of these stories he shows how cruel and hard society can be towards individuals and towards certain races, especially those in love. Most importantly when reading these stories Faulkner focuses on the gulf between appearance and actuality, and the contrast between public and private and the private self.
The story, light in August, is an account of a young girl Lena who is pregnant and is in search of her child?s father. From the beginning to the end of the novel we move back and forth between the ongoing present and past of each character. As new characters are introduced, we are taken back into their lives. Thus the plot keeps us in suspense as we try to understand why things have happened, moving between three separate story lines. The theme of this story is the relationship of individuals and communities and the relationship of individuals to their fellow human beings. In these first four chapters, Faulkner presents the major characters of the novel, each of whom is, for specific reasons, separated from society in some important way. Lena Grove, though she relies cheerfully on the kindness of strangers, is morally isolated because of her illicit pregnancy, and socially isolated because of her constant traveling. The sullen, proud Joe Christmas is isolated because of his mixed racial heritage, which causes him to emphasize the differences between himself and those around him, as when he wears his tattered city clothes to the planning mill where everyone else wears work clothes. Diminutive Byron Bunch is, like Lena, morally isolated, though by his own choice; he makes no friends except Hightower, and works almost all the time because he is so afraid of falling into mischief otherwise. Hightower himself is isolated as an outcast, someone rejected by society–in his case because he failed in his appointed task as guardian of public standards, by delivering incoherent sermons while his wife carried on obvious sexual affairs.
In comparison A Rose for Emily, the main character Emily shares similar references towards Lena. Like Lena she is also morally isolated from her town by choice. She chooses her way life because she dislikes it so much. Her story is simply a story about a woman who fell in love with someone of a different background, someone she was not ?supposed? to love. All her life all she wanted to do was to love someone and start a family. This story is also told in flashback and we go through Emily?s life staring with her funeral then telling us about her life. She was troubled with how her father never gave her freedom and also the love she had for Homer brown, but never got to have. Possibly this was because of their difference in color, and how in that time the North and the South were two complete opposites and people did not mix. We find out that because of these differences and pressure on society?s ways Emily killed Homer, in order for her to keep him close to her and not to loose him. Basically she went mad and she felt society would if they were seen together. The story implies that it is hopeless even for Emily who was subject to death, Emily just didn?t want to loose things in her life, and in turn she did. The basic themes of this
story are bitterness, towards her father, resentment, generation gap, disolusionment and suppressed forbidden love, all tying together this tragic story.
Whether or not these two stories have the same plot line they have the same basic theme, hatred between people of the North and the South and the end results. Faulkner gives us two stories to look at and analyze and see his gulf between appearance and actuality, contrast between public and the private self. In the end one can look at these stories and realize that these instances are still going on today and that William Faulkner had many intentions for people to read stories like these and maybe take a look at the hatred between people and the differences that still exist today.