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Arose for Emily by William Faulkner

Rhetorical Essay: Arose for Emily


William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily” is a rich setting of sim City style where he used his own style to create MissEmily’shouse, which is an important symbol in the story. It is easy to get lost in the enchanted land of William Faulkner’s genre because the tone adopted by the author is reflecting two sides of the Jeffersonian nature. Faulkner is famous for not holding back his style; he is popular for his descriptive wordiness as reflected in A Rose for Emily. There is no rose in the story of Faulkner, but we find rose word in the story title and passages multiple times. The ending of the story includes finding a dead corpse of forty years old Homer Barron which is nasty and surprising.

Rhetorical Analysis

While reading the story A Rose for Emily by Faulkner, one can get a feeling that it is an allegory, which contains the hidden meanings. There is something very wrong mentioned by the author in the story regarding the main protagonist miss Emily; Jefferson people are unwilling to face the facts and more coming up with excuses. Right after the Civil War ended, the old Southern practices enabled the confederate states to performracism, which Emily represents in the Jefferson town. As she belonged to a prominent mother and father in town, she fell from grace due to death of her father and psychological illness. She was a person who refused to change her ways and thinking with time.

Emily’s attempt to rebel against the society and social norms reflect that she was mentally unsound and wanted independence in an unnatural way by dating a young working class Yankee who was considerably below her standards. She tried to force him to love her whom shows attempt to build loving relationship with someone sexually but she failed again.

Faulkner is conveying the message of struggle that comes from trying to maintain tradition in the face of widespread, radical change in the mysterious figure of Miss Emily. In the story, Emily herself represents a tradition that remains the same over so many years despite the community faced so many changes. She also represents the traditions of past that individuals used to honors andrespect. Emily was completely cut off from the outside world; she had also become a burden others find hard to understand.

The life of Emily was in a vacuum while she lived out of touch from modern reality of her town. Bridal chamber of Emily also represents her desire to stop change at the expense of human lives. Faulkner is a persuader who is convincing the audience that ethics and traditions are something worth caring for in the society. Emily did not respect the ethics and traditions, paid the price by giving her life, and loved ones.

The author is appealing to the emotions of readers with his convincing arguments; Emily’s plea for indolence revealed that her unreal behavior would bring out the best results for her life. Nobody recommended her to love a person below her standards of life who gave her nothing but heartache in the end. The author uses pathos as an emotion; in the case of Emily, the emotions of love for Brown and her father were intensely reflecting her sad feelings. The age of brown over forty represents a number that is considered a logo in the rhetorical triangle.

The element of sentimentality is present intensely in the story, which is a representation of pathos; the town’s people offered Emily their help, which she refused to take, it reflects a logical decision on their part to help the ill girl, reflecting logos. The various elements of human interaction in the story covers the rhetorical triangle of Aristotle, which help the audience to understand the human beings like Emily and Jefferson people. Emily’s intellect displayed weak logic with her naïve behavior; author is creating emotions in the story through her enchanted dark twisted character who knows how to express her anger strongly. Emily is a perfect example of pathos.

Being a rhetorical critic, the author Faulkner demonstrates how Emily is resisting change in her life with complete evidence in the story. It is the best example of using logos. Emily had no idea how to react to the tragic death of her father and went insane; the language she used contributed towards the pathos in the story. There were more emotions in the story when people of town felt sorry for Emily. The power of death is a logical concept in the story while Emily denied that her father was dead and could not handle any change in her life.

Emily confined herself into her house and refused to go out in the society from the day her father died; her house also symbolizes solitude and psychological illness, which brought death of more people. For the pursuit of happiness, the character of Emily does things that were unusual in the story. No wonder that Emily had a hard time but her refusal to accept and adopts to change is something others cannot do anything. From the perspective of Miss Emily, the language of story gives the worldview of Emily to the reader; Emily is creating a confusion in the reader’s mind to understand the reality of death. If was almost as if Emily did not know she was alive or dead or her life was ending or beginning.


Analysis, "A. “”A Rose For Emily” Rhetorical Analysis | Academic About William Faulkner.” N.p., 2018. Web. 8 Mar. 2018.

Faulkner, William. A Rose for Emily and Other Stories. [S.I.]: Random House Publishing Group, 2012. Print.

“Sparknotes: A Rose For Emily: Themes.” N.p., 2018. Web. 8 Mar. 2018.



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