A Rose For Emily Ralph Ellison Analysis

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William Faulkner’s short story “A Rose for Emily” and Ralph Ellison’s “Battle Royal,” a chapter from his novel invisible Man that is also sometimes excerpted as a short story in literary anthologies, are both set in the South in the early to mid-twentieth century. The characters, circumstances, and narrative voices are all quite different, but both shared the Southern setting and the theme of racial relations in the South. Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily” describes a town legend named Miss Emily Grierson whose family was once important, rich, and powerful in the Mississippi community in which the story is set. The narrative voice is the voice of the town itself, a gossipy perspective that gets all of its information from outside observation, rumor, and town history. The narrator does not actually know Emily; they are not friends and probably not even acquaintances. However, because of the Griersons’ reputation, the town pays attention to Emily’s life from the time she is a young…show more content…
Now, her house is decrepit, and as it turns out, she’s keeping a dead body in a bed in her house. Emily tries to hold on to old privileges granted to her family in more prosperous times. Meanwhile, the town around her grows and changes. Falkner presents Emily as a symbol of a dying culture, namely the antebellum South. Before the Civil War, the South was thriving due to its use of slave labor. Race is more of subtext in this story than it is in Ellison’s novel, but in “A Rose for Emily,” the title character has a servant who is a black man, and we can infer that her family was more influential when they had money and power, probably from being descended from plantation owners. The implication is that some Southerners want to hang on to the past, including the extreme racial inequality that characterized the antebellum period, while the rest of the world moves
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