A Rose For Emily Theme Essay Introductions

 A Rose for Emily is a southern gothic short story about an elderly women stuck in her ways. When we are first introduced to Emily it is at her funeral where the entire town has come to falsely pay their respects. The men are only there because they viewed Emily as a fallen monument and the women are there to peer inside a house that has been closed up to the world for decades. Through-out the story the narrator gradually describes Emily’s decent into madness and her unwillingness to accept the change happening around her. The central theme of A Rose for Emily focuses on the never ending battle between tradition and change, which is expertly portrayed by William Faulkner’s use of setting, symbolism and character.

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William Faulkner chose a time period that was crucial for America. During the post-civil war era the fight between tradition and change was still prevalent amongst Americans, especially between the Confederate and Union soldiers. However, the time period isn’t the focus of the setting just the foundation for Emily’s small town in Mississippi where everyone knew each other and gossip was rampant among the people. Emily’s neighborhood and house are two other examples of setting that Faulkner uses to develop his theme. The narrator describes Emily’s neighborhood as once being the selected street to live where all of the august names once lived. However, they died out, leaving only Emily, which turned the once most prestigious neighborhood into a pigsty. Where the rest of the town was advancing and changing Emily refused to accept the changes surrounding her. This can be seen in paragraph 50 where the narrator remarks “When the town got free postal delivery Miss Emily alone refused to let them fasten the metal numbers above her door and attach a mail box it (Faulkner 521).” When it comes to gothic fiction, houses are usually the central focus of setting and Miss Emily’s house is no different. Emily’s house is described as a “big squarish frame house that had once been white, decorated with cupolas and spires (Faulkner Pg, 516).” The narrator even goes on to say that Emily’s house is “lifting its stubborn and coquettish decay above the cotton wagons and the gasoline pumps-an eyesore among eyesores (Faulkner, Pg 516).” Emily’s unacceptance of change is shown in these passages by her not keeping up the appearance of her house. While Emily’s house is a great example of setting depicting tradition vs change, it is an even better example of symbolism showcasing the struggle between tradition and change.

Symbolism is artfully crafted throughout A Rose for Emily with Emily’s house, death and Emily herself being the three most prominent examples. Emily’s house symbioses a time capsule, a place forever unchanging and untouched my time. Within her time capsule Emily can live in a timeless, unchanging world where death does not exist. Death is strategically used to as a symbol for change throughout the story from the very beginning at Emily’s funerals to the very end when the townspeople discover Homer Barron’s body in the upstairs bedroom. Death was the only change Emily couldn’t not fight, but that didn’t stop her from accepting its ever present presence in her life. The first become aware of this when Emily initially refuses to admit the death of her over-bearing father. She was stating multiple times to the townspeople who came to console her that her father was not dead. In the end the reader gets a final and a disturbing understanding of Emily’s denial of death with the skeletal body of Emily’s possible suitor Homer Barron lying on a bed dressed in a suit and placed beside him on a people was a single strand of Miss Emily’s hair. Lastly, Emily herself is the living embodiment of tradition. Emily is referred to as a monument in the first paragraph, also, in paragraph three the narrator states, “Alive, Miss Emily had been a tradition, a duty, and a care; a sort of hereditary obligation upon the town.” William Faulkner didn’t just use Emily as a symbol of tradition, he also used her character illustrate the constant struggle between those of tradition and those of change.

+ All A Rose For Emily Essays:

  • Closing Case: the Ecuadorean Rose Industry
  • Movie Review: Ma Vie En Rose
  • An Annotation of Emily Dickinson's I Taste A Liquor Never Brewed
  • Emily Bronte's Remembrance and thomas Hardy's The Darkling Thrush
  • A Rose For Emily - In Memory Of Emily Grierson
  • Emily Dickinson's God
  • Emily Dickinson: Life and Literature
  • Setting Analysis and Symbolism of Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  • Phyllis Rose, Tools of Torture
  • Emily's Rose
  • Writing Techniques of Emily Dickinson
  • Importance of Human Interaction in William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily
  • Guitar Highway Rose
  • An Explication of Emily Dickinson's Loaded Gun
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  • Oh Who Will Protect Poor Emily?
  • William Faulkner's 'A Rose for Emily': An Analysis
  • Emily Dickinson's Success Is Counted Sweetest Criticism
  • Comparing Shakespeare's 'Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day' and Burns' 'A Red Red Rose'
  • Mysterious Roses and Cold Feet
  • Media and Metaphor Regarding England's Rose
  • Because I could not stop for Death, by Emily Dickinson
  • Comparison of Women's Struggles in Use by Alice Walker and A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner
  • Poetry Analysis of Emily Dickinson
  • Emily Dickenson's Poems
  • Hustle: The Myth, Life, and Lies Of Pete Rose by Michael Sokolove
  • Emily Dickinson's Poetry About Death
  • Emily, Murphy, Nellie McClung, and Agnes Macphail Stand for Women's Equality
  • Two Great Short Stories Read by Many are A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner and The Necklace by Guy De Maupassan
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  • A Good Man Is Hard to Find and A Rose for Emily Analysis
  • Gothic Elements of Jane Eyre by Emily Bronte
  • The Significance of the Townspeople and Emily's Father in A Rose for Emily
  • Edgar Allan Poe and Emily Dickinson Compare and Contrast
  • The Nature of Death in Emily Dickinson's Poems
  • Analysis of Emily Dickinson's The Bustle in a House
  • Emily Character Analysis of A Rose for Emily
  • Symbolism of Death Used in Because I Could Not Stop for Death by Emily Dickinson and “Home Burial by Robert Frost
  • "A Rose for Emily": Insanity, Murder and Death
  • Comparing Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson
  • Character Analysis of Emily Grierson
  • Analysis of Oh, my love is like a red, red rose, by Robert Burns
  • Emily Killing Homer: A Crime of Passion or an Act of a Frightened Girl
  • John-Jin by Rose Tremain
  • Never Give up on Love in Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  • Emily Dickinson - Her Life and Poetry
  • Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman: Dissimilar Poets Establish Unique Writing Style
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  • The Importance of Ghosts In Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights
  • The Representation of Art in William Carlos Williams' Poem The Rose
  • A Rose for Emily and The Jilting of Granny Weatherall the Share theTheme of Jilting
  • The Rose - Janis Joplin and the Lonely Sixties
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Short Story 'Sleeping Beauty on the Airplane' and Grimm Brothers' Original 'Briar Rose': A Comparative Analysis
  • Emily Dickinson: Her View Of God
  • A Rose for Emily - Biography William Faulkner
  • Analysis of Emily Bronte´s Wuthering Heights
  • Effective Literary Elements in Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights
  • Emily Dickinson and Interpretations of Her Poetry
  • A Withering Rose inWilliam Faulkner’s, A Rose For Emily
  • Emily Dickinson's Fascicle 17
  • The Relation of Evil and Love in Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  • Early Criticisms Of Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  • A Rose by Any Other Name
  • Essay on Escape in A Rose For Emily and Yellow Wallpaper
  • Fences Rose Final Draft
  • Analysis of A Rose for Emily, by William Faulkner and The Yellow Wallpaper, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  • I Stand Here Ironing: Character Analysis of Emily
  • Symbolism of Houses in A Doll's House and A Rose For Emily
  • Identity and Ideology Beyond Death in Emily Dickinson's Poem “I Died for Beauty”
  • William Faulkner's A Rose For Emily
  • Compare and Contrast “the Flowers” and “a Rose for Emily”
  • Death in Emily Dickinson's Because I Could Not Stop for Death and I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died
  • The Scrambling of Time in Faulkner's A Rose for Emily
  • A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner
  • Bi sexuality of emily dickinson
  • The Effects of Tone in "A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner
  • Emily Dickinson - Theme of Love
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  • William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily


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