A rose for Emily is one of the most popular literature works of William Faulkner. The story is a type of Gothic horror, which revolves around its main character Emily who is dead when the story begins. The setting of the story is in a fictional town in Mississippi called Jefferson (William, 17). The essay’s main objective is to reveal the different literature skills used by the author and their compatibility in the story.
The main theme in the story is isolation and it is clear from the beginning of the story. The narrator states “…the women mostly out of curiosity to see her house, which no one save an old man-servant-a combined gardener and cook had seen in at least ten years” (William, 25). This statement is a clear indication that Emily was isolated during her life. The other theme is conflict where Emily is the protagonist who faces a lot of opposition because of change of time. In the story, Emily poisons Homer his lover who is an antagonist to ensure that he does not leave her alone since she sleeps with his corpse (William, 48).
The protagonist has a lot of friction with other antagonists within the story as the narrator clearly revealed for instance the conflict between Emily and the society began when her father could not allow her to have suitors (William, 18). This issue resulted to solitary life and conflict between Emily, her father and the society. The conflict between Emily and her father was resolved by keeping his father’s body for three days after he died, but her conflict with the society was resolved only when she died.
The author has used many stylistic devices to ensure the story is entertaining to read. The sequence of the story is in backward flow since the story starts in the funeral of Emily. This shows that the whole story is a flashback by the narrator. The use of flashbacks is clear in the story, its exposition is where the narrator introduces Emily’s father, and the reader is able to see his personality and Emily’s background (William, 17). The use of flashbacks ensures that foreshadowing have been used on several occasions. The protagonist is Emily and the story’s beginning foreshadows her death. The buying of arsenic foreshadows the death of Homer. Although the story has a backward flow, one is able to note the peripety and the climax of the story. The peripety is of the story when Homer starts dating Emily; at first, the town people think it is not right but later they wish she would get married (William, 30). Their hopes to see Emily married diminish when Homer is never seen again after he was seen entering Emily’s house. The story climax is at the end when the town people found Homer’s corpse in Emily’s house.
The author uses symbolism and characterization in his story. The main symbol used is Emily’s house, which is a symbol of time. Emily’s house was the best in the past but the change of time washed away the beauty and it became smelly. This also shows the changes of America from the past to the modern generation. The ticking of Emily’s clock symbolizes that time is moving on an each tick means that her chances of finding happiness are diminishing. Emily’s is characterized in two conflicting ways “when she was young she was a vibrant and hopeful girl who grew to become a mysterious and secretive woman” (William, 33).
The point of view of the narrator ‘we’ is that we pity Emily or despise her on some occasions. This is shown by the narrator statement, “…after her father’s death the people of the town went to give their condolences to Emily” (William, 21) Before Emily’s death, the council harassed her for not paying taxes.
Faulkner, William. A Rose for Emily. Logan, Iowa: Perfection Learning Corp, 1990. Print