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Literary Analysis of “A Rose for Emily”

Throughout an individual’s lifetime, one is exposed to different situations in which hardships present themselves as threats to life. In most cases, letting go has proven to be extremely difficult. In the story, Faulkner observes that love is a powerful feeling that dominates most of the narration. The loss of her father meant that she lost the only person who loved and treasured her.

After a short while, Homer Barron visited the town and became great friends with Emily. When the time to depart came, people believed that she would commit suicide as they thought she could not commit to witness losing a new person.

Over the years, the townspeople were only able to see a Negro entering and coming out of the house, but never once did they encounter Ms. Emily. It is not until the closing periods of the story that the audience is made aware of the fact that Homer Baron had never left the house and was, in fact, dead and stored in Emily’s bedroom for that whole period. The story is not entirely a love story but is a mixture of obsession, stability, and manipulation.

Homer Barron was a big man with a voice and eyes that were much lighter than his physical look. He appeared to be healthy and masculine. In reality, he had an admiration for men and was often quoted saying “He liked men.” Fellow townspeople believed that Emily would change Homer’s perception of sexuality, but they were in for a huge surprise as he was a manipulator who continued to lead Emily into believing that they were hopeful together while, in a real sense, he was masking out his true identity.

He led Emily and the entire town into believing that he loved her and that they were in a relationship while, in a real sense, he was after his own gain. Miss Emily could be justified as she was not clean as Homer was. As much as Emily’s father had made large contributions to the town, he had not left anything to inherit. Her father used to be her getaway. While alive, her taxes were retained, but after his death, her relationship with almost everyone around her took a sudden turn.

The title of the story symbolizes the deaths that occur throughout it. The author portrays extensive meaning through the symbols he employs in narrating this story. For instance, the title is an allegorical element that implies Emily would receive hands of roses due to the tragedies she had succumbed to. She had experienced an irreversible disaster, which meant that there was little that she could have done.

The story can be said to be more horrific than the author had initially planned. Based on the implications of the narrators, Faulkner can develop an irregular pattern that is used to present the story in an unsettling chronological manner. This allows for the development of horrific effects that eventually lead to frightening endings. While answering questions from students from Virginia University, Faulkner refers to the story as a “ghost story” of 1950. From a scholar’s point of view, the story is seen as diverse and harbored with too much wealth and complexity. The story is also termed as literary due to the many phases it has, it therefore, is not limited for classification as a horror story. In essence, the story manifests an enthralling narration that places anxiety in the reader’s mind, making them want to explore and read more.

Whenever I read this story, it triggers my fear of cars based on the accident that I was a part of a while ago. The scenario always reminds me of bad luck and scenes of how death may look like. I always associate this story to my experiences in real life to face my fears for death, while, yes, everyone should be afraid of death, but mine is different because I encountered death first hand and survived it.

I have not had any peaceful night ever since the accident incident as no night passes without me thinking of the crash. The first day of this experience isn’t something I can explain or describe to someone as it highlights the dangers on our roads and describes the pain I went through. It’s an experience that entailed laying there while doctors and nurses worked on me, moved me, and gave me injections.

To me, all that was a nightmare. While I think about the experience of that July summer, I conclude lessons learned in life should be taken seriously. Since the accident, I have been able to appreciate every second of my life and think wisely. I have come to know that driving is not a game but rather a privilege. I must admit that this experience has changed me completely, but at least, from Emily’s perspective, death isn’t worth any kind of joy.

Works Cited

Faulkner, William. “A Rose for Emily.” Kennedy, X. J., and Gioia, Dana, eds. Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. 6 ed. New York: Harper Collins, 1995.



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