Thesis In “A Rose for Emily”, William Faulkner discusses that change should be recognized by everyone –the past should be left in the past– which is supported by Emily’s case, who wanted to change but was not supported by the town. Point 1 She wanted to convert her pre-Civil War self –which was a very traditional one; practiced slavery, lived in a beautiful mansion, and cared for money; a resemblance of her father– to a post-Civil War Emily.
Textual Evidence Emily began a relationship with Homer Barron as stated by the town, “…we began to see him and Miss Emily on Sunday afternoons” (Faulkner 81).
Contextual Evidence As stated by Du Fang in his article “Who Makes a Devil out of a Fair Lady? ,” Emily is portrayed as a devil by the southern social system. Analysis of a Symbol Homer Barron represents freedom, progress, modernity, and change.
Point 2 The town did not accept Emily and Homer’s relationship because she was seen as a monument to them.
Textual Evidence “Miss Emily had been a tradition, a duty, and a care; a sort of hereditary obligation upon the town” (Faulkner 79). Textual Evidence The town did not accept the interracial relationship between them, as we see when “the ladies began to say that it was a disgrace to the town and a bad example to the young people” (Faulkner 83), so they called her cousins.
Contextual Evidence Du Fang suggests that Emily and Homer’s relationship could not be because “it goes against traditional southern womanhood, because a pure, holy southern lady should not have any desire to peruse her happiness. ” Analysis of a Symbol Emily was the symbol that represented the old south. Point 3 While Emily accepted changes in her traditions and the town did not, she did not accept modification in her structure and the town did.
Textual Evidence Faulkner exemplifies the modifications to be made in the town which “had just let the contracts for paving the sidewalks” (81) and those of “garages and cotton gins” which “had encroached and obliterated even the august names of the neighborhood […] only Miss Emily’s house was left” (79). Textual Evidence Faulkner represents Emily’s dissent towards altering her structure, in this case her house, when he narrates that the town got a free postal delivery and “Miss Emily alone refused to let them fasten the metal numbers above her door and attach a mailbox to it” (83).
Contextual Evidence In concurrence with the Literary Cavalcade, Faulkner’s description of Emily’s house does evince that she has fallen from a state of wealth into one of poverty. Contextual Evidence Faulkner’s description of the house in human terms –“stubborn and coquettish”– implies that Miss Emily herself embodied these qualities. Analysis of a Symbol Emily’s structure, her house, represented her and the actual idea of the old south; they were the haunting past of the town.
Anonymous. “Reading Between the Lines.” Literary Cavalcade. Research Library,2004. 28-30. (scanned copy of the article found using ProQuest from the U.P.R.M.’sdatabase) Fang, Du. “Who Makes a Devil out of a Fair Lady?.” Canadian Social Science. Canada:Canadian Academy of Oriental & Occidental Culture, 2007. 18-24. (scanned copy of the article found using Academic Search Complete fromthe U.P.R.M.’s database) Faulkner, William. “A Rose for Emily.” Literature: Reading, Fiction, Poetry, andDrama. Robert Diyanni, Ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2009. 79-84.
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