William Faulkner's "A Rose for Essay

Total Length: 1056 words ( 4 double-spaced pages)

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Furthermore, Emily's inability to have a romantic relationship with Homer once again calls attention to the disconnect between Emily's south and Homer's. Instead of becoming one with Homer's new south, Emily kills him and keeps him in her own personal sanctuary in an attempt to preserve not only him, but also life as she thought it should be. Thus, neither as an institution nor as a personal refuge can old South miss Emily and new South society be reconciled.

Just as Faulkner's portrayal of Miss Emily's relationship with society suggested an attempt to cling to the death of traditional Southern culture in the midst of modernization, so to does her relationship with herfather echo this sentiment. In much the same way that Emily clung to Homer's body in an attempt to hang on to the decaying traditional southern culture, so to does her attitude toward her father's act as a symbol of old Southern culture clinging to its ideas in the advent of change. When Emily's father dies, she refuses to let anyone in the house, insisting that he was not dead, and it is only after three days that she managed to be persuaded "to let them dispose of the body" (Faulkner 703). This picture of Emily clinging to an old man's bones, especially to the bones of her father, whose lifestyle and name represented Southern high culture, suggests not only the decaying of traditional Southern culture, but also the suffering with which members of that culture struggled to give it up.

Through both Miss Emily's interactions with society and her family, "A Rose for Emily" can be seen as a symbol of the decaying traditional Southern culture and some traditional Southerners' attempts to cling it to it. As the world with its modern ideas attempts to pass her by, Emily with her strange behaviors and ideas, stands opposed to it, even going so far as to cling to dead bodies in an exaggeration of the South's attempt to cling to a dead culture.
William Faulkner, a Southern man, can easily have been motivated to pen such hyperbolic symbolism. In fact, Faulkner's notorious 1950 Nobel Prize speech noted that the young author felt that "man will mot merely endure; he will prevail" ("William Faulkner's Nobel Prize Speech). In order for man to not only endure, but also to prevail over nature, that man must be ready to change, to modernize. Thus, through his use of symbolism in "A Rose for Emily," Faulkner urges modernization, in hopes that humanity may overcome and prevail. Works Cited Faulkner, William. "A Rose for Emily." Literature for Composition. Barnet, Sylvan, Burto, William E., and Cain, William E. Eighth Edition. New York: Longman, 2007. 701-705. Faulkner, William. Nobel Prize Speech. 10 Dec. 1950. Rpt. On William Faulkner on the Web. 28 Sept. 2008. 28 Sept. 2008 . Padgett, John B. "The Fa (u)lkner Family Tree." William Faulkner on the Web. 17 August 2006. 28 September 2008 ......

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