28 March 2012
“A Rose for Emily” written by the Southern Gothic writer, William Faulkner, takes place in the antebellum Mississippi and tells the story of the strangely peculiar, Emily Grierson. As a Southern Gothic writer, Faulkner delves into the extreme anti-social behaviors of the main character, Emily. Emily lives in her family’s old, colonial house and remains a recluse to her death. After her father’s death, the only people she allows in her house are the children she teaches china painting to and Henry, her supposed beau. It is through Faulkner’s use of symbolism that Emily’s abnormal lifestyle and eccentric actions can be understood and reasoned.
The title of the short story is, in and of itself, symbolic to the life that Emily lived. Emily lived a very lonely life and grew up without a mother. The one person that she relied on for everything, her father, passed away and the fact that she kept him for a period of time after his death implies that she suffers from emotional issues. It is quite possible that she had intimate relations with him, but in the end that is up to an individual’s interpretation. The story is titled “A Rose for Emily” because Faulkner is offering a rose as a pity gift to a woman who has experienced irrevocable misfortunes in her life. Everyone deserves something beautiful in his or her lifetime, and this is Emily’s gift of beauty.
The house that Emily is born and dies in is a monument, much like Emily. The lavished, outdated home is the only artifact left in her town from the days of the Southern aristocracy, as well as Emily. Emily holds onto the life that she once knew, but fails to maintain the house as well as herself. The home is weathered and filled with dust, but still holds true to the elegance that it once entailed. This description of the house is much like Emily. During her younger years, she was beautiful and elegant, but overtime this beauty has faded. In the years approaching her death, Faulkner’s description is nothing but an eyesore. “She looked