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 uses the decaying effect of time on Miss Emily’s character which drives her to insanity. Miss Emily comes from an old wealthy line of family in the deep south. Faulkner story is highly symbolic, enhancing miss Emily’s values and character. “Miss Emily is described as a fallen monument to the chivalric American South”(Allmon). Faulkner uses the setting of the story to show the emotional state of Emily. The female-male relationship between Emily and her father is strict, oppressive, and controlling; Their relationship has a major impact on Emily’s character Throughout the short story. Her father is made out to be a father
Everyone is different in a away. This statement also applies to characters in a story. The main character in “A Rose for Emily” is Emily Grierson. She is a “Small, fat women in black” who lives in the big house, only one left, in which used to be the most select neighborhood (Faulkner 78). Miss Emily’s father passed away and, her first sweetheart deserted her. Nea is the main character in “Saving Sourdi”. She is a bony, hard working, fourteen year old girl who loves her older sister, Sourdi, very much. Miss Emily and Nae share their stubbornness and determination while also showing their differences.
In this short stories “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe and “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner, the authors represent the sense of horror in their stories. They are very similar in expressing their terrifying point of view. However, there are also differences. “The Tell-Tale Heart” is told in the first person perspective which creates compulsory picture of a mad murdered, whereas the third person perspective of “A Rose for Emily” shows Miss Emily through the eyes of others, which changes the narrative radically. In Addition, Miss Emily committed the crime because the fear of being alone. Reverse to Miss Emily, the narrator committed his crime because the fear of that person being around. Moreover, Poe does not share his main character name or if the narrator is a male or female, but Faulkner does which is Miss Emily. While there are a major differences between the two narratives, the main characters in both stories have many similarities in how their desires led them to murder.
Miss Emily creates around her a grotesque image: her house has a bad smell, it “has once been white”, the “garages and cotton gins had encroached” , she is very fat, her voice is dry and cold, etc. This story looks like a horror one because the main character becomes monstrous, a woman who kills her lover and lives with his corpse for forty years. Why would Homer Barron – “a big, dark, ready man, with a big voice and eyes lighter than his face” - be interested in Emily if he is supposed to be gay? The narrator states that he is homosexual: “he liked men, and it was known that he drank with the younger men in the Elks’ Club” . Is this the reason why Emily killed him? Did she feel betrayed?
“A Rose for Emily” is a dark, suspenseful Gothic tale in which a young girl is put on a pedestal by a town who sees her as haughty and scornful. Miss Emily Grierson’s father controls her and her love life, pushing away all people until he dies and Emily is left alone. As her life goes on the townspeople watch her and judge Emily, almost turning her life into a spectacle to be talked about. At her death, a gruesome sight is unfolded when her lover of over forty years ago is found decomposed in her upstairs room. William Faulkner effectively builds epic suspense in “A Rose for Emily” by the unchronological order of the story, the treatment of Emily’s father towards her, and her family’s history of mental illness.
Homer Barron is described as “a big, dark, ready man, with a big voice and eyes lighter than his face” (Faulkner 4). No woman wants to feel as if they’re unattractive, especially when it comes to someone they like in an intimate way. However, Emily’s problem wasn’t that she was unattractive because according to Faulkner, she was quite beautiful in her youth. The ultimate issue did not lie on Emily, but on Homer Barron because of his odd remark that he liked men. Emily must have been confused and a tad bit sad to find out that the man she liked didn’t like her back. This pushed poor Emily over the edge of insanity and led her to commit the heinous act of murder. In the back of her mind, she probably had only one thought if she couldn't have him, then no one else ever
Emily's character isolates herself which causes her to be in denial when in contact with the townspeople. On one occasion right after her father died Faulkner says, “She told them that her father was not dead. She did that for three days, with the ministers calling on her,
I love William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily.” It contains literary devices that Faulkner uses to make the short story perfect. The three literary devices that Faulkner uses are symbolism, setting and point of view. These three literary devices are what makes it an enjoyable story to read.
In William Faulkner’s short story, A Rose for Emily, Emily Grierson, a prominent member of her small town, dies alone in her home. Upon her death, curious townsfolk entered her home trying to learn her secrets. It was thought she was crazy. Emily Grierson was not crazy; she was isolated by her father, which led to her odd social tendencies and unique interactions with others. A Rose for Emily is a short story based in a small town. The narrator focuses a lot on Emily Grierson after her death. The narrator said multiple times they believed she wasn’t crazy. However, their actions proved to show the opposite.
Within the introduction we are told that William Faulkner was a Southern writer who loved to write comedy and tragedy. I would definitely consider “A Rose for Emily” one of his best tragedy that he has written as it contains suspense and foreshadowing. Foreshadowing is defined as a literary device in which a writer gives an advance hint of what is to come later in the story. Foreshadowing often appears at the beginning of a story, or a chapter, and helps the reader develop expectations about the coming events in a story. William’s stories include virtues of the the Old South, which take a look at tragic flaw of slavery, and this sparked many of his stories. The Old South was an adherence to the code of chivalry and a belief in natural superiority of the white aristocracy. Throughout his stories, Faulkner contrats notions of the Old South and its decaying values with the newer ideas of the New South.
He also shows the relationship between Emily and her dead father and how Emily cannot let go of people that show a love interest in her or the people who look after her in that she must be attached to them even after death. Faulkner depicts an Emily that was once young and vibrant, who maintained the Grierson home and kept it in a pristine condition. Faulkner relays to readers that because Emily was unable to control her own destiny and was powerless under her father’s hand, she became a recluse and ultimately went into a downward spiral. After sensing and believing that her first real love will leave her, Emily purchases arsenic and it is believed that she will kill herself because there is no point in living if no one will love her
The previous lavishness of the “big, squarish frame house that had once been white, decorated with cupolas and spires and scrolled balconies…set on what had once been [the] most select street” (437) indicates that Emily came from a well-off family that was probably highly respected. The whiteness of the house can be taken to symbolize the innocence of her youth, and that as she got older her macabre habits manifested themselves and polluted that innocence, leaving the house dingy and tainted. The condition of the house when Emily dies is that of a worn down vestige to the past, “an eyesore among eyesores” (437), representing how the towns people saw her. She was a curiosity, a clandestine entity that could only be unraveled after her death when there was no one left to safe guard the dark secrets of her house. The house stands as a monument to a lost time and a testament to tradition that has no place in the modern era, much like Emily
Meeting Homer Barron was her biggest change from her old self, because her father did not allow her be in any relationships, but she went out in public with Homer “driving in the yellow-wheeled buggy and the matched team of bays from the livery stable” (454). Consequently, this was only because she was living in her own reality and believed that Homer would be the one to marry her. Homer was “not a marrying man” (454) and would not marry Emily, but she refused to accept the denial of marriage from him, so she killed him to keep him with her forever. She stayed within her house to keep herself in the Old South. When she told the men to see Colonel Sartoris, she was not aware that “Colonel Sartoris had been dead for almost ten years” (452) at that point. Emily kept her house the same way it had always been and was letting it decay while she stayed in it. She refused to clean or change the house at all to preserve it in the Old South. She did not want to accept the death of other people. When Emily’s father died, she refused the town from taking his body and burying it. She wanted to keep her father’s body with her and the town was “about to use law and force, but she broke down, and they buried her father quickly” (453). She also hid Homer’s body after she killed him. Emily wanted to keep him with her forever and did not let him say no to marrying her. She bought clothes and a bathroom set to
The short stories, "A Good man is Hard to Find" by Flannery O'Conner and "A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner are rather horrifying; one tale is about a grandmother and her family brutally murdered by a coldhearted killer, and the other tale is about a lady who murders her lover and then sleeps beside his rotting body. Not only have O'Conner and Faulkner created similar plots in their respective stories, both authors criticize the Southern corruption through the distortion of the characters' world view of reality.