Rose For Emily By FaulknerA Rose for Emily by William Faulkner is a remarkable tale of Emily Grierson,whose funeral drew the attention of the entire population of Jefferson a smallsouthern town. Emily was raised in the ante-bellum period before the Civil Warin the south. An unnamed narrator, who is consider to be “the town” orat least the collaborative voice of it, aligns key moments in Emily’s life,including the death of her father and her brief relationship with a man form thenorth named Homer Barron. In short this story explains Emily’s strict andrepetitive ways and the sullen curiosity that the towns people have shown towardher.
Rising above the literal level of Emily’s narrative, the story basicallyaddressesthe symbolic changes in the South after the civil war. Emily’s housesymbolizes neglect, and improvishment in the new times in the town of Jefferson. Beginning with Emily Grierson’s funeral, the story foreshadows the ending andsuspenseful events in Emily’s life, and her other impending circumstances. ARose for Emily tells the tale of a young woman who lives and abides by herfather’s strict sensibilities. The rampant symbolism and Falkner’s descriptionsof the decaying house, coincide with Miss Emily’s physical and emotionaldecay,also emphasize her mental degeneration, and further illustrate the outcomeof Falkner’s story.
Miss Emily’s decaying house, not only lacks genuine love andcare, but so douse she in her adult life, but more so during her childhood. Thepertinence of Miss Emily’s house in relation to her physical appearance isbrought on by constant neglect and unappreciatation. As an example, the house issituated in what was once a prominent neighborhood that has now deteriorated. Originally the house was described as, “It was a big, squarish frame housethat had once been white, decorated with cupolas and spires and scrolledbalconies in the heavily lightsome style of the seventies” of an earliertime, now many of the towns people see that the house has become “aneyesore among eyesores”. Through lack of attention, the house hasdeteriorated from a beautiful estate, to an ugly desolate shack. Similarly,Emily has also become an eyesore in the following various ways.
For instance,she is first described as a “fallen monument” to suggest her formergrandeur and her later ugliness. She might have stayed out of the public eyeafter these two deaths which left her finally alone, something she was not usedto. When Emily died Jefferson lost a prominent monument of the Old South. Thisstory contains a high rate of symbolism thoroughly distributed and revealed byshady foreshadowing.
Just as the house has, Emily has lost her beauty. Once shehad been a beautiful woman, who later becomes obese and bloated. In this postcivil war town, the great estate and Emily had suffered the toll of time andneglect. As the exterior, the interior of the house as well resembles Emily’sincreasing decent and the growing sense of sadness that accompanies such adownfall. All that is told of the inside of Emily’s house is a dim hall, where astaircase is mounted into descending darkness, with the house smelling of foulodors.
The combined darkness and odor of the house relate with Emily in some ofthe following ways, with her dry and cold voice as if it were scrappy and dryfrom disuse just like her house. The similarity between the inside of the houseand Emily extends to the mantel, where there is a portrait of her father andEmily sitting there. Internally and externally, both Emily’s building and herbody are in a state of deterioration and tarnishment like a metallic material. An example of Emily’s unwillingness to change is when she refused to let the”new guard” attach metal numbers above her door and fasten a mailboxwhen the town received free mail service.
This reflected Emily’s unyielding andstubborn persona caused by and related to her father’s strict treatment of herwhen she was young.