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A Rose for Emily

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Darren Jhong

on 4 October 2015

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Transcript of A Rose for Emily

By William Faulkner
A Rose for

What is Irony?
Point of view in this story
colour or shade

eg. With a light orange hue, this tea is like no other.
A Rose for Emily
Literary Devices
Point of View

Irony is a form of expressing one's self by using language that usually signifies the opposite. Used mainly for dramatic or humorous effect. There are 3 forms of Irony:

1) Verbal: A writer makes a statement in which the actual meaning differs from the meaning that the words appear to express.
e.g. “The locker room smells really nice”

2) Situational: Accidental events occur that seem oddly appropriate, such as the poetic justice of a TV weather presenter getting caught in a surprise rainstorm.
e.g. A traffic cop gets a speeding ticket

3) Dramatic: a narrative in which the reader knows something about present or future circumstances that a character in the story does not know.
eg. In Macbeth by William Shakespeare, Macbeth appears to be loyal to Duncan but he is planning Duncan's murder. Duncan doesn't know Macbeth's plans but the audience knows what is going to happen.

Discussion Questions
For A Rose for Emily

To pardon

eg. The accused is asking to be remit
A Speck

eg. Earth is like a mote of dust in the universe.
Gold edged

eg. He came to my wedding and gave me gilt earrings.

eg. The man's face was very pallid with wrinkles breaking through.
A Rose For Emily
by Schmoop

eg. The king's temerity was well known throughout the country.

eg. The box was teeming with insects.

eg. He was always so diffident and insecure that he spent all his life alone.

eg. When in doubt, you can't go wrong with a little self-deprecation.
A vivid or graphic description; scene

eg. The tableau neatly captured the essence of this city in winter.
a group united in a secret plot; a secret love affair

eg. The cabal worked secretly and efficiently on the goal of overthrowing the government.
unable to be affected by

eg. The man was impervious to the heat.
1) First Person
- The story is told from a character, showing only their thoughts, feelings and senses
e.g. The Hunger Games

2) Third Person Omniscient
- The narrator knows everything that is happening inside all of the characters and all of their thoughts
- all knowing but may not reveal all
e.g. the War and Peace novel

3) Third person limited (limited Omniscient)
- The character is referred to using third person pronouns
- The narrator only knows the thoughts and feelings of one person
e.g. The Harry Potter novel series

unpleasantly bitter or pungent

eg. Acrid fumes of burning had rapidly filled the air.
to prevent (someone) from accomplishing something.

eg. The hero thwarted the villain's plan to dominate the world.
magnificent or inspiring awe

eg. The august presence of the monarch was blinding us.
husband of an unfaithful wife, often regarded as an object of derision.

eg. In some Greek myths, Zeus cuckolded men with beautiful wives.
What does the depiction of the manservant tell us about the historical and social context in America then? How do the townspeople approach him? What is his name and what might it connote?

The Manservant is depicted as a Negro. How the townspeople approached him “with their hushed, sibilant voices and their quick curious glances,” (5.1) This shows how racism and a rigid class structure were present in the colonial South, and how people view other people not with the same eyes as they normally do.
Tobe, first described as "an old man-servant – a combined gardener and cook" (1.1). He is an even more mysterious character than Emily, and, ironically, probably the only one who knows the answers to all the mysteries in the story.

"Alive, Miss Emily had been a tradition, a duty, and a care; sort of hereditary obligation upon the town..."
Although Emily once represented a great southern tradition centering on the landed gentry with their vast holdings and considerable resources, Emily’s legacy has devolved, making her more a duty and an obligation than a romanticized vestige of a dying order. The town leaders conveniently overlook the fact that in her straightened circumstances and solitary life, Emily can no longer meet her tax obligations with the town. Emily emerges as not only a financial burden to the town but a figure of outrage because she unsettles the community’s strict social codes.

What could Miss Emily’s ticking watch symbolize? What does it tell us about Miss Emily?

When members of the Board of Aldermen visit Emily to see about the taxes a decade before her death, they hear her pocket watch ticking, hidden somewhere in the folds of her clothing and her body. This is a signal to us that for Miss Emily time is both a mysterious "invisible" force, and one of which she has always been acutely aware. With each tick of the clock, her chance for happiness dwindles .

Explain what the following lines at the end of the story reveal

"Then we noticed that in the second pillow was the indentation of a head. One of us lifted something from it, and leaning forward, that faint and invisible dust dry and acrid in the nostrils, we saw a long strand of iron-gray hair."

Emily’s secret, finally revealed, solidifies her herself as an oddity. Her precarious mental state has led her to perform a grotesque act that surpasses the townspeople’s wildest imaginations. She had been sleeping with the deceased Homer. Although Emily sets up a solitary existence for herself, she is unable to give up the men who have shaped her life, even after they have died. She hides her dead father for three days, then permanently hides Homer’s body in the upstairs bedroom. In entombing her lover, Emily keeps her fantasy of marital bliss permanently intact.
Because Faulkner presents his story in random fragments, it is not until the final sentence that the entire picture of Miss Emily is complete. We realize that, having been denied male companionship by her father, she is desperate for human love, so desperate that she commits murder and then uses her aristocratic position to cover up that murder. But by killing Homer, she sentences herself to total isolation. With no possibility of contact with the living, she turns to the dead.

Comment on the title of the story: What does the "rose" symbolize?
The Rose as a Symbol of Love
Roses, in literature and the general daily experience, usually represent love. Roses are given as tokens of affection, as a sign of devotion to the individual to whom they are given. When viewed in this light, the rose seems an odd choice for the title of this story: Emily’s story is disturbing, the tale of a woman obsessed with her own heritage who never understood the true meaning of love. This makes the title ironic, which seems to be Faulkner’s entire point. By using the classic symbol of love to introduce the narrative, he is leading the reader to a consideration of what the components of true love are. Love is not the distorted narcissism that is Emily’s perception; it is a selfless act of giving that builds relationships, not destroys them like in the story.

First Person-Plural (Peripheral Narrator)
The fascinating narrator of "A Rose for Emily" is more rightly called "first people" than "first person." Usually referring to itself as "we," the narrator speaks sometimes for the men of Jefferson, sometimes for the women, and often for both. It also spans three generations of Jeffersonians, including the generation of Miss Emily's father, Miss Emily's generation, and the "newer generation," made up of the children of Miss Emily's contemporaries. The narrator is pretty hard on the first two generations, and it's easy to see how their treatment of Miss Emily may have led to her downfall. This lends the narrative a somewhat confessional feel.
By using the "we" narrator, Faulkner creates a sense of closeness between readers and his story. The narrator-as-the-town judges Miss Emily as a fallen monument, but simultaneously as a lady who is above reproach, who is too good for the common townspeople, and who holds herself aloof. While the narrator obviously admires her tremendously — the use of the word "Grierson" evokes a certain type of aristocratic behavior — the townspeople resent her arrogance and her superiority; longing to place her on a pedestal above everyone else, at the same time they wish to see her dragged down in disgrace. Nevertheless, the town, including the new council members, shows complete deference and subservience toward her. She belongs to the Old South aristocracy, and, consequently, she has special privileges.

How the author conveys the story to the reader. The form in which the story is told in.
Quiz Answers!
1. teeming
2. gilt
3. pallid
4. temerity
5. thwart
6. remit 7. cabal
8. diffident
9. impervious
10. hue

Multiple Choice
2. d
6. a
7. c
8. d

Short Answer Questions
What are the factors shaped that shaped Miss Emily?

What are some Themes to the story?
Isolation - the process by which human beings become isolated by their families, by their community, by tradition, by law, by the past, and by their own actions and choices. In effect, this story takes a stand against such isolation, and against all those who isolate others.

Memory and past - Spanning approximately 74 years, this short story spins backwards and forwards in time like memory, and shows a southern town torn between the present and the past. Post-Civil War and Pre-Civil Rights, "A Rose for Emily" shows us an American South in limbo, trying desperately, with each generation, to find a better way, a way which honors the good of the past, while coming to terms with its evils.

Visions of America - "A Rose for Emily" doesn't look at America through rose-colored glasses, even though many of its characters do. In the aftermath of slavery, the American South shown in the novel is in bad shape. The novel deals with the stubborn refusal of some southerners to see that the America they believed in – an America based on slavery – was no more. The story covers about 74 years, beginning sometime just before the Civil War. The focus, however, is on the periods from about 1894 to 1935. Because the dates are all jumbled together, we have to work to untangle the stories present vision of America from the vision of the past.

More Themes
Compassion and forgiveness - The story can seem downright cruel, the characters wholly unsympathetic, and the plot gross. When we begin to see the magnitude of the tragedy, and its impact on multiple generations, we understand the story is a call for understanding. The story seems to argue that forgiveness, compassion, and understanding can only come by facing the facts of the past and the present, which are tangled up together in a tight knot. Faulkner is both mercilessly subtle, and painfully blunt in this story, but we can feel the spirit of compassion rushing through.

Three main factors which shaped Miss Emily's character are history, family, and isolation.

Miss Emily is viewed as a "fallen monument...a tradition". She is a part of history, remnant of a bygone era - specifically the Old South - and its former glory in Jefferson. In her stubborn refusal to change with the passing of generations, she reflects the destruction and decay of the"august" Southern society, postbellum.

Miss Emily was "the last Grierson", an old Southern family whose influence is synonymous with the history of Jefferson. As such, she was expected to maintain a certain "status", in which she did imperviously, stubbornly holding herself above the general people. Her father, a tremendous influence in her life, effectively kept Miss Emily from having suitors while he was alive, because "none of the young men were quite good enough for (her)"; except for Homer Barron. She had never really socialized, and refused to pay taxes because of an age-old decree exempting her family.

Miss Emily's family ties and her status as an icon left her isolated and terribly lonely. It is this isolation which caused her to seek love so desperately, and to cling to its perceived memory even when it was gone. Miss Emily's need to have someone love her crossed the border of madness, as she held fast to the corpses of first her father and then her "lover" Homer Barron.,
4) Objective (Dramatic)
-The narrator assumes the position of an observer, detached from the narrative. Much like a fly on the wall, or a camera.
e.g. Short Story “The Lottery” By Shirley Jackson

Will help with your quiz!
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