The Symbol of the Rose in William Faulkner’s A Rose for Emily

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A Rose for Emily was written by William Faulkner and is characterized as a Southern Gothic short story. The story takes place in Faulkner’s fiction city of Jefferson, Mississippi and we can assume that the plot spans from some time in the 1890’s to the 1931 when A Rose for Emily for actually written. The story revolves around the town; specifically, Emily Grierson’s house is a main view point and symbol of the story.

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The townspeople act as the narrators of the story, their rumors and ridicule of Emily and her ways as well as their sympathy for her as time progresses, helps to tell excel the plot. Also, Faulkner’s structure of the story is very telling of some traits of Emily. The story has many examples of symbolism as well, including the main character herself. A Rose for Emily also coveys themes of old Southern aristocracy versus the changing North. A Rose for Emily on the surface is a story of an obviously disturbed woman who murders a man rather than marrying him and manages to keep it hidden for decades. Although, it is also a compelling Southern Gothic short story that relays a message of southern insusceptibility to change with the progression of times and unfelt love through symbolism, theme, and structure.

The main character, Emily, is a southern lady who has lived in this great big house that is a reminder of old-South aristocracy. Emily, as well as the house, coveys the message that the old aristocratic South refuses to change. As the story progresses both Emily and her house become paradigms of decay. In this way, the house and Emily are both symbols of a time long passed. Her father is the only person she has been able to learn from,

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