William Faulkner’s A Rose for Emily: A Southern Heritage Reflection

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In William Faulkner’s short story, A Rose for Emily, the reader acknowledges the rude reality of Emily Grierson’s inability to be receptive of a new, dynamic and ever-changing world. Emily is not only lonely but also a mysterious lady, who lives in a large, post-civil war era home with her father. William Faulkner narrates this old and lonely lady’s story, precisely explicating how she remains stuck in her own timeframe.

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Although her autocratic father died over thirty years earlier, Emily remains rigid and still holds onto her the way she lived her life before her father’s demise. According to Perry, Emily’s house, formerly luxurious white with scrolled balconies, has is now an excellent example of the most ghastly looking abode on the once most revered square in the town. Encroached with decay and dust, the house has left people in her city gossiping about her while at the same time pitying her lost soul. Perhaps due to loneliness and desperation, she soon gets in a romantic affair with Homer Barron, a young bachelor who works in a construction corporation paving footways on Emily’s city streets, Jefferson. The more the townspeople see them taking rides together, the more they talk and sympathize with her. In a dramatic twist of events, Emily’s public appearances with Homer lessen. One day Miss Emily is seen acquiring poison from a drug market.

“A Rose for Emily is fundamentally a tale of old versus new and tradition versus non-tradition. Faulkner brings these aspects into the limelight through the story’s main characters, Miss Emily and Homer. Right from the exposition of the text, it is clear that the story revolves around old versus new. Emily Grierson signifies the Old South. This essay will consequently discuss the cultural and historical significance of her character while drawing its examples from the traditional southern heritage.

Faulkner successfully creates a gloomy tone of “A Rose for Emily” particularly at the beginning of this epic tale chronicling the requiem of Miss Emily. With the story’s progression, the author takes the readers through distinctive moments in Miss Emily’s life, explicitly detailing how she was lost her own world as everything around her kept moving forward. Faulkner additionally employs foreshadowing, narrator point of view, and the southern gothic writing technique, to aid the reader form a visualization of Miss Emily, as well as the town.

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