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. 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.
Without losing sight of the possibilities it may offer, let us extend it and consider Faulkner's spirit-chilling little classic along the additional lines proposed more recently by Professor Randall Stewart—those of Faulkner's relationship to earlier characteristically Southern writers.
In comparing them, along with Poe's, accordingly, we can arrive at some conclusion about the direction that Gothic fiction has taken during the past century in its concept of the human personality. Cable sets this down in his first sentence and Faulkner devotes his entire long second paragraph to it.
Our imaginations are thus fixed at once in both stories on an exact setting. Similarly, the coming of garages and gasoline pumps mentioned in the beginning of Faulkner's story places us squarely in the Jefferson of the first decades of the 's—a seemingly casual fact that becomes indispensable: And thereby hangs Faulkner's tale.
Into both settings of change the author introduces a hero who, fortifying himself in an anachronistic, essentially horrible, and yet majestic stronghold, ignores or defies the insistent encroachments of time and progress. It is the different and yet similar ways in which Poquelin and Miss Emily oppose these encroachments that their creators show their kinship and, after all, their basic difference.
Each curtain goes up on an isolated fortress from bygone days. His only relative, a much younger half-brother named Jacques, has not been seen for seven years, two years after Poquelin and he left for the Guinea coast on a slave-capturing expedition and Jean Marie returned alone.
No one saw him come. So far as anyone knows, Poquelin lives only with an old African housekeeper, a mute. Emily Grierson is a similarly sinister relic.
Her lover has since disappeared. A neighbor saw the Negro man admit him at the kitchen door at dusk one evening.
And that was the last we saw of Homer Barron. The only other inmate, we read, is an old Negro house servant, who does not utter a word during the course of the story.
Progress, in the form of municipal expansion, becomes old Poquelin's adversary. Surveyors give signs of running a new street close to his house and of draining the morass beside it. This is, we note, a Poquelin reverse that the townspeople relish; they too oppose new streets, and will welcome engineering difficulties, but their fearful scorn for Poquelin causes them to look upon his forcible return to the community with pleasure.
Poquelin goes directly to the Governor, pleads with him in broken English after the Governor understandably declines to speak in the French tongue. He pleads on the old, man-to-man basis of the past when informality and the importance of the Poquelin name would have made this kind of interview expectable; does not take kindly to the Governor's suggestion that he deal with the city authorities; and even proposes that the Governor personally intercede with the President on his behalf.
To the Governor's innocent query about the stories associated with his house, Poquelin haughtily refuses to answer, and then departs. The city official to whom the Governor has referred him also knows no French and deals with Poquelin through an interpreter.
Unsuccessful here too, Poquelin swears abusively and leaves.
The new street is cut through, and houses go up near Poquelin's, but still the ugly old ruin remains, to the growing exasperation of the townspeople. Now the newer arrivals plot to persuade, then coerce, the old man to build a new home.
Their efforts are rebuffed firmly by Poquelin, who refuses to permit conversation about it with the president of a local Board recently organized. The townspeople renew their pressure on Poquelin and even threaten mob action a charivari, they say ; but on the fateful night they are thwarted, both by the efforts of one of their group who, on a secret visit to the house, becomes suspicious of a revolting odor about the place, among other things and by the death of Poquelin himself.
His body is brought out of the house by the old African mute, followed by the long-missing Jacques, a leper whose existence he has successfully concealed from all for seven years.
Hoisting the coffin on his shoulders, the Negro starts out toward leper soil, Jacques with him. She refuses for days to let the neighbors in when her father dies, and two years later scandalizes them by consorting openly with the crude Yankee, Homer Barron. She defies society by refusing to identify to the druggist the purposes for which she is buying the arsenic.
Shortly afterwards, when Homer apparently deserts her on the eve of their presumed wedding, and an offensive smell develops in her house, there is angry complaining to authority. But the old major intercedes in Emily's behalf, and the only community action that results is the sprinkling of lime around her house secretly, almost fearfully, at night.
She refuses to accept free postal delivery. This imperiousness finally causes a deputation of townspeople mostly younger to call on her in her dusty, sinister-smelling domain. She turns them away haughtily, claiming an immunity to taxes based on a life-long remission by a mayor long since dead, to whom she refers the deputation.
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The story “A Rose for Emily” is a piece that is short in length, but one that is filled with many important aspects of writing - Literary Analysis on "A Rose For Emily" introduction.
The characters in the story are all different and very important to the telling of the piece throughout. We get to.
The novel of William Faulkner ‘A Rose for Emily’ recounts a part of the past in the life of Miss Emily Grierson and the society in a town of Jefferson after the Civil War.
A short summary of William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily. This free synopsis covers all the crucial plot points of A Rose for Emily.
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Publish your work, receive free editing services, and win the award valued up to $! - An Interpretation of William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily" In the short story " A Rose for Emily," William Faulkner tells the sad story of a woman who has had an extremely sheltered life.
It is a tragic story in which Miss Emily's hopes and dreams for a normal life are hopelessly lost.