A Rose for Emily Essay

Submitted By sweetlove0806
Words: 2698
Pages: 11

English 1302

“A Rose for Emily” Discuss

William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily” has several themes displayed throughout this story. The most predominant theme is about death and loss experienced by the main character Emily Grierson. The story is about the life of Emily in the old southern town of Jefferson. This story is told in an unusual way for it starts with Emily’s death. It then goes on to her life as a young lady and how it was restricted by her father’s ways. Once her father passed, Emily starts to date a young man by the name of Homer. The story continues with their dating, touches on his disappearance, and goes on to touch on several different encounters with Emily and the town’s people. The story then concludes back to where it started, with the death of Emily, and the ghastly discovery that is made upon her funeral. The obvious theme of death is evident but the story is truly about lost and the toll it takes on someone, especially on Emily in her life. Emily’s death and her funeral is where the story begins. It is in the first lines that the narrator lets the reader know of some of the loss in Emily’s life. For one the towns people refer to her as a “fallen monument” (237) and advised that the women attending the funeral are doing it more out of “curiosity” (237) then to pay respect to a fallen friend. This beginning is foreshadowing what the reader will learn about Emily. It is typical for people to attend funerals to pay respect to a fallen friend, but not the women of Jefferson, and why is that? Why are none of these women Emily’s friend or even mention about their mothers or aunts being her friend? This is because this is the first hint to Emily’s loss of a social life and happiness. The reference to as a “fallen monument” (237) only strengthens this assumption because a monument is usually something people create and view as a sign of respect of something great. Unfortunately, overtime this once thought of person who was held in high regard has fallen from that peddle stool and no longer is seen in the same glorious light. Once the narrator passes the initial opening about Emily, he goes straight into the description of how her house was perceived at the funeral. The house was described as a “big, squarish, frame house that had once been…set on what had once been our most selected street,” but now it is described as a one of the only houses left of its time but that “its stubborn and coquettish decay was an eye sore among eye sores” (237). It is just more foreshadowing of what Emily’s life had been like since the reader will soon learn that like her once a grand house she was once a member of high society, but like as her house decayed into nothing more than something people shows distaste for so did Emily’s status is society. For if Emily was still held as a member people accepted and respected in the elite of society then more respect would have been paid not only to her things but to Emily herself especially at her funeral. It is at funerals that people are supposed to reminisce about fond memories of the deceased, yet in Emily’s situation not all the memories will be fond. For example, the narrator reflects on the dilemma of how the town’s people struggled with how to approach Emily for past due taxes. Emily was seen as a “hereditary obligation” (237) placed upon the town, since it was a former mayor years ago who came up with a story to help pardon Emily from owing taxes after her father’s death. Emily was a lady who would not have “accepted charity” (238) and the story was created to protect her status in society after her lost due to her father’s death. The respect and regard for Emily was lost with the new generation for they didn’t care about her status they wanted her to pay owed taxes even though she was already old in age. The description of her in her old age even demonstrates her loss of respect and loss of beauty. Emily is described as “a small, fat woman…her skeleton was small and