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The tradition of the old south is very prevalent in the story of “A Rose for Emily”. It is the tradition of the people of the town that forces them to hold Emily in a very high regard because her father was a civil war hero. The town may not want to hold her above themselves but they have to because of the code of duty in the old south. Faulkner also uses the sense of the importance of privacy to great affect as the narrator hints towards knowing that there was some suspicious activity between Homer and Emily, like the fact that Emily gave no particular reason why she needed arsenic when she went to the druggist.
There is also the tradition that people did not marry below their class in the old south and this shows when we learn that Emily’s father had turned away a number of suitors for her because they were not good enough. It is also shown when Emily starts to form a relationship with a carpenter from the north, the townspeople are a bit shocked because of this.
Some traditions from the old south have gone away like the sense of duty towards those of better class than you but some remain like the respect for privacy or the “don’t ask don’t tell” mentality.
Faulkner uses very dark overtone or mood in the short story, “A Barron would be in the center of the group. Presently we began to see him and Miss Emily on Sunday afternoons driving in the yellow-wheeled buggy and the matched team of bays from the livery stable.
” This shows the flirtatious or coquettish nature of how Emily felt about homer even if homer didn’t feel the same. Another word that might be used to describe the book is the word impervious, which is an adjective that means unable to be affected by. Emily could be described as impervious in the story, Faulkner writes, “Her voice was dry and cold. ‘I have no taxes in Jefferson. Colonel Sartoris explained it to me. Perhaps one of you can gain access to the city records and satisfy yourselves.’”
Emily will not be affected by the town of Jefferson and does not allow the city to tax her. Finally Perverse is a word that one could use to describe the tone of the story. Perverse is a word that means “ showing a deliberate and obstinate desire to behave in a way that is unreasonable or unacceptable, often in spite of the consequences.” in the final paragraph Faulkner writes “Then we noticed that in the second pillow was the indentation of a head. One of us lifted something from it, and leaning forward, that faint and invisible dust dry and acrid in the nostrils, we saw a long strand of iron-gray hair.”. This shows that Emily was presumably performing the perverse action of sleeping with the corpse of Homer.
Burduck writes in his article about the possibility that the narrator of the story is a woman instead of a man which is usually presumed. He writes about how reading the story knowing the narrator is a woman gives an interesting perspective of the story. He writes about how the men in the town do not care as much as the women do about emily and her story and so the narrator is trying to make sure that the story is not forgotten.
Klein writes in his article about the narrator and the choice to avoid identifying his or her own gender. He writes that the use of the plural “we” or how the narrator’s use of “The men” or “The women” in telling the story of Emily hides the true nature of the narrator’s gender. Klein also writes about how the narrator avoids showing favoritism to either the “women or men of the town” as well as avoiding favoritism to the generations of the town as in the younger generation that tries to force Emily to pay her taxes and the older generation that gave her exemption.
Melczarek writes about a perspective of looking at how Faulkner uses the narrator not necessarily for psychological effect that is in theme with the perverse and horror nature of the stary. Melczarek writes about the potential of the narrator to symbolize the way of thinking in the south and how the narrator may have known about the murder of homer and was complicit in that knowledge.
Moore writes about the chronology of Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily”. He begins by writing and summarizing the opinions of others that have read and written about the chronology of the short story. The examples of writing that more quotes talk about how Faulkner “destroys chronological time in his story” Moore then goes to write about how the dates given in the short story are important to the chronology of the story and is important to understanding the story. Moore also gives examples of dates in the book and creates a timeline for the book.
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