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A Rose For Emily
Transcript of A Rose For Emily
He is arguably one of the 20th century's greatest writers.
He earned his fame from a series of novels that explore the South’s historical legacy, its fraught and often tensely violent present, and its uncertain future.
Most of Faulkner's writings take place in his fictional Mississippi county, Yoknapatawpha.
"A Rose For Emily"
A Rose For Emily
was the first short story that Faulkner published in a major magazine; it appeared in the April 30, 1930, issue of
The narrator describes in great detail specific situations. This may indicate that he/she was actually there, he/she heard about it or as Klein wrote, "has become omniscient" (230).
A Rose for Emily
By : Jessica Cawley, Kimberly Grader
Kristen Hefti, Brittany Lyles,
& Andreya Matthew
By: William Faulkner
Selected major works:
Soldier's Pay (1926)
The Sound and the Fury (1929)
As I Lay Dying (1930)
Light in August (1931)
Absalom, Absalom! (1936)
"A Rose For Emily," "Barn Burning," "There was a Queen," "Black Music,"
Collected Stories (1950)
Faulkner was especially interested in exploring the moral implications of history through his writing.
Faulkner’s writing expresses these interests in his fictional landscapes by having individual characters stage epic struggles; some of his characters are blind in realizing and establishing their potential or place in the world.
o The town analyzes every thread of information they get about Emily. When she is first spotted with Homer Barron the town becomes divided on what her intentions are (even though they don’t really know her) (1001).
o After Emily purchased the poison (without giving a reason for it) the narrator says, “So the next day we all said, ‘She will kill herself’; and we said it would be the best thing” (1001).
Why would the town think suicide was the best thing for Emily to do?
ho is Emily?
John Crowe Ransom’s poem,
“Miss Emily Hardcastle, Spinster”
Name of Emily
Superiority / egotistical towards others
Dating a man named Barron/Baron
An anonymous town person tells the story of these women
Dickinson’s work was being published rapidly and in high volumes during the time of "A Rose for Emily's" publication.
The women both exhibit an odd fascination and relationship with the dead.
When Emily secludes herself from the rest of the world after Homer Barron’s disappearance, “it is self-protective, an act of passive resistance directed against a society where the masculine virtues of courtliness, strength, and moral rectitude…have been supplanted by the doings of scoundrels” (Kriewald 4)
Prince Albert was thought to be of lowly birth compared to Victoria and after his death, Victoria made sure that his room was kept up and cared for as if he were still alive. Victoria was even known to go and visit his room. (Strachey qtd. in Kriewald 8-9).
Homer Barron was not well received within the town and after he died, Emily kept the room set up as if he were still alive and “visited” him.
Both women separated themselves from the rest of society after the death of their significant others.
Analysis by Gary L. Kriewald
Analysis by Peter Hayes
1. Who/what does Emily represent?
2. Who is the narrator? What is the intention behind the structure of the narrator?
3. What is the message behind this story? What is Faulkner trying to convey?
(Levitt qtd. in Kriewald 4)
(qtd. in Kriewald 4)
"monarchy." Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. HarperCollins Publishers. 04 Apr. 2014. <Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/monarchy>.
"Homer's Rose.” Think Like Orion. Think Like Orion.blogspot.com. 7 Feb. 2013. Web. 05 Apr. 2014.
Figure 73: Falkner House, Ripley, Mississippi. 1884. University of California Press. Web. 05 Apr. 2014.
Faulkner, William. “A Rose for Emily.” The Norton Anthology of American Literature. 8th ed. Ed. Nina Baym and Robert S. Levine. New York: W.W. Norton & Company Inc., 2013. 998-1004. Print.
Faulkner, William. Collected Stories Of William Faulkner. 1943. Osmania University. Web. Universal Library. Web. 3 Apr. 2014.
Klein, Thomas. “The Ghostly Voice of Gossip in Faulkner’s A ROSE FOR EMILY” The Explicator 65:4 (2007): 229-232. Ebsco. Web. 31 March 2014.
Kriewald, Gary L. “The Widow of Windsor and the Spinster of Jefferson” Faulkner Journal 19.1 (2003): 3-10. Ebsco Web. 31 March 2014.
Literary writing style that includes eccentric characters sinister situations and/or alternate setting.
: An individual who focuses primarily on societal conflicts and traditional issues.
: Movement involving literary and philosophical experimentation, reflected in work and execution.
: The point-of-view/ perspective through which the narrative is portrayed.
: reign inherits authority, powers can be absolute or merely those of a figurehead.
Queen Victoria and Emily both have mental illness in their family trees. (Kriewald 9)
Emily = “old lady Wyatt, the crazy woman” (1001)
Queen Victoria = King George III, Victoria’s grandfather who had gone crazy (Strachey qtd. in Kriewald 9)
Food for thought...
4. What do we make of the ending?
"Think Like Orion." : Homer's Rose. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Apr. 2014. <http://thinklikeorion.blogspot.com/2013/02/homers-rose.html>.
Emily isn’t politically powerful, but she definitely has her own type of influence on the town, similar to the constitutional monarchy setup.
Lytton Strachey published a biography entitled Queen Victoria in 1921
Emily does not like modernity.
Strachey emphasized Queen Victoria’s indifference towards modern innovations (qtd. in Kriewald 8).
Queen Victoria = Victorian Era
“Emily Grierson’s death marked the end of an era as Jefferson shed its most tenacious link to the past, and the proud old hermit heiress, in a strange apotheosis, assumed her place in the communal mythology – the heroine of a story told by the town, of the town” (Kriewald 10).
Reactions toward dead loved ones are strikingly similar
Era defining women
Faulkner House, Ripley, Mississippi (1884).
The first sentence inserts the narrator within the setting of the town (998).
Since the narrator doesn't identify with any particular group of characters, we as the reader are not able to determine the narrator's gender throughout the whole story (Klein 229).
The narrator is separate from Emily and her immediate situation. There isn't any sort of direct interaction between him/her and Emily. We get the story through the eyes, mind, and ears of the narrator.
The whole town seems to be separate from Emily. She becomes a phantom or character to the town and it sets up as though it is the town v. Emily.
At times the narrator switches from being within the townsfolk to being an outside party.
"Already we knew that there was one room in that region above stairs which no one had seen in forty years, and which would have to be forced. They waited until Miss Emily was decently in the ground before they opened it” (1003).
It seems as though the narrator was a part of this first entrance into the eerie room though.
“For a long time we just stood there” (1003).
“As they recrossed the lawn, a window that had been darkened was lighted and Miss Emily sat in it, the light behind her, and her upright torso motionless as that of an idol” (1000).
The mayor “received in reply a note on paper of an archaic shape, in a thin, flowing calligraphy in faded ink” (998).
Did the narrator actually see this letter that was sent to the mayor, or did he/she just hear about it?
Episodic plot structure
In media res
Latin for "in the midst of things."
Narration alternates between third person and limited.
This is a chronological structure, but it consists of a series of loosely related incidents, usually of chapter length, tied together by a common theme and/or characters. Episodic plots work best when the writer wishes to explore the personalities of the characters, the nature of their existence, and the flavor of an era.
Past Vs. Present
Metaphor on p.1003
Shortly after her father's death they started construction
Homer Barron is the new man in her life instead of her father
New generation is the "backbone and spirit of the town" while Emily is still the same
The difference b/w how Colonel Sartoris deals with paying back her father's loan and how newer generations do p.998
Emily refuses to comply with the multiple new generations rules
Difference b/w young member of the bard's approach/ the old judges approach
Emily's refusal of the updated postal system
New Sartoris generation don't take their children for Emily's painting lesson/ it marks official cutoff p.1002
“Now and then we would see her in one of the downstairs windows—she had evidently shut up the top floor of the house—like the carven torso of an idol in a niche, looking or not looking at us, we could never tell which” (1003).
“They waited until Miss Emily was decently in the ground before they opened it” (1003).
“When the town got free postal delivery Miss Emily alone refused to let them fasten the metal numbers above her door and attach a mailbox to it. She would not listen to them” (1002).
The difference between men and women at Miss Emily's funeral.
Women mainly gossip throughout the short story.
Only a woman could have believed Colonel Sartoris’ arrangement.
Women not believing a man could take care of a kitchen.
Men vs. Women
Crayon portrait of her father
Emily as an image of white(purity) behind her protective father.
Emily’s father driving men away
Emily’s denial and difficulty about letting her father go
• The house is representative of Emily’s body. It just like her is a piece of the past among its more modern surroundings. The neighborhood is changing, there are even new numbers on the homes, but her home is stuck in the past, just like her.
• The windows are used by the townspeople to get a glimpse into both Emily’s life and also invade her privacy. Because the home represents her body, every time someone looks into her windows they are getting closer to her than she wants.
• The gray strand of hair represents a passing of time. Emily has aged and her hair is all that is left behind in the bed of her dead lover. She spent time laying with his body.
• The title of rat can also mean a lover who has cheated in a relationship. Arsenic is commonly used to kill rats. Emily tells the pharmacist that she is going to use the arsenic to kill a something. She is not specific in what that something is.
The bedroom is the place Emily goes to imagine she has a perfect relationship.