Literary Analysis: A Rose For Emily

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Many critics have seen in Faulkner “a credible authority on the South, a writer of fiction who had something important to offer about the regions and the meanings of its past”. The story of “A Rose for Emily” is told by one of the townspeople. The protagonist is seen from the outside and described by a first-person narrator, who tells the readers his point of view and others’ from the town. The narrator and these people had always regarded the character from the outside. Emily seems to be the one who lets her neighbours see her public image. They see what she wants them to see. The first-person narrator is also a collective one, because there is always a “we” in the epic discourse, the narrator never says “I”: “people in our town”, “we had long thought of them as a tableau” and so on. 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?

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