Examples Of Literary Devices In A Rose For Emily

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Amy Bushong Composition II, 16577 Literary Devices 10-16-14 A Watch for Emily In William Faulkner’s A Rose for Emily, time is the relentless master to which society must bow down or be left in its wake, and those who cannot accept change will be left to descend into madness and murder. This is the case with Emily when she refuses to let go of a time long since passed, and resorts to unscrupulous methods in an attempt to preserve tradition. Throughout the course of the story Faulkner leaves bits of clues and glimpses into what happens when tradition will not make way for progress, like a literary bread crumb trail, through the utilization of metaphors, symbols, and allusions. Dust is a prominent metaphor in the story, representing the decay of Emily’s life (and mental condition) and the decline of a by-gone era. When the deputation of the board of aldermen visit her home to …show more content…

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

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