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A Rose for Emily
Transcript of A Rose for Emily
By: William Faulkner
About the Author: William Faulkner
William Faulkner ws born in New Albany, Mississippi on September 25th, 1897.
Problem faced by characters
Related Events in a literary plot that build toward the point of greatest interest of the climax
- Emily refused to tell what she was buying arsenic (poison) for (foreshadow she was going to do something that was probably illegal)
- The fact that insanity was in the family (foreshadowed Emily’s turn into insanity)
- The Baptist minister’s visit and declaration that he’ll never go back (foreshadows that he probably saw at least a hint of what Emily did)
- The odor of Emily’s house (foreshadow the discovery of Homer’s death)
- Homer being gay (foreshadow he might leave Emily if he stayed too long, prompting her to kill him)
- Homer’s disappearance (foreshadow Emily killed him and kept him in her house)
- Emily kept her top floor room locked for years (foreshadows that she was hiding something terrible)
•He was the oldest of four sons born to the Murray Charles and Maud Butler Falkner.
• While he was a child, the family settled in Oxford in northern Mississipp
•When Faulkner was 13 he began to write poetry.
•He enjoyed sports and played as the quarterback at Oxtord High School until he had a nose injury. He dropped out of school after receiving a ¨D¨ in English before he received his diploma to go work at his grandfathers bank.
Based on Jim Harvey's speech structures
Background information on the characters and setting explained at the beginning of the story.
Story opens with the huge funeral of Emily Grierson. The Funeral prompts the narrator to talk about the last time anyone had been to Emily's house and events that led up to that date. This leads to a story of Emily's tax evasion.
Man vs. Reality
When Emily's father died, she refused to believe it. It took days before Emily gave up on keeping the townspeople away from her father.
Man vs. Man
Emily falls in love with Homer however her love is not reciprocated. She takes action to silence and halt his departure. She buys arsenic and he disappears from the public. Soon her house gives off a bad smell.
1. Miss Emily refused to pay her taxes
2. Miss Emily's house smelled awful and the townspeople complained
3.The townspeople decide to put lime around her house to remove the smell. They did this at night so Miss Emily would not know.
4.Mr. Greison dies and people want to pay respects, so they come to Emily's house. But she doesn't accept that he is dead.
5. Emily meets Homer Barron and begins to have weekly carriage rides with him, the townspeople gossip about Emily and Barron's affair.
6. As rumors are spreading about Emily and Barron's affair, Barron admits that he "isn;t the marrying type" This suggests that he is sexually attracted to men, not women.
Emily buys Arsenic from the drug store. The Pharmacist asks what the poison would be used for, as it is legal protocol. Emily refuses to state a reason. When Emily receives the Arsenic, it is labeled "for rats".
The aftermath of the climax
1.Minister visits and cousins were sent to her house
2.Cousin left, two days later Barron came and was never seen again.
3. Barron disappeared two years after Mr. Gierson’s death and the smell appears again.
4. Emily conducts china painting classes for seven years. She stops and doesn't appear again for over ten years
5. Alderman came to collect taxes, Emily refused
6.Emily dies at 74 years old
7.Tobe opened the door and disappeared forever
the point in the story’s plot line where the original conflict or problem is solved.
The cousins came and prepared for the funeral. They laid her to rest. Their curiosity got the best of them and decided to open up the boarded rooms upstairs only to find Homer Barron’s rotting body. Next to his body was a pillow with an imprint left in it and one long strand of gray hair sat atop the pillow, presumably Emily’s hair.
The main character of the story. She started out normally, but after her father died, she slowly went insane. She did find love in the form of Homer Barron, but due to her insanity, she killed him with poison so that he wouldn’t leave her. Later, she closed her house off from everyone except her servant. When she died, the townspeople were able to discover what she did to Homer
- The fact that even though Homer claimed he was “not a marrying man”, after Emily killed him, he was stuck with her until she died, similar to marriage.
- The townspeople thought that Emily thought of herself as a higher class than them, yet she soon fell in love with a common man.
- Situational Irony: the readers didn’t expect Emily to be hiding Homer’s dead body in the top floor building.
- “Till death do us part” is not the case, since Emily refused to part with Homer after she killed him. That, and the fact that she loved him enough to kill him.
- pale skin
- “fatty ridges” on face
- eyes like “two small pieces of coal pressed into a lump of dough”
- Hair changed from a dark color to iron grey
- dry cold voice
- “vague resemblance to those angels in colored church windows--sort of tragic and serene”
The man from the north who had many admirers in Jefferson (the town). Emily fell in love with him, and he took her out for Sunday drives in his car. He was later described as being either gay, or just a person with no interest in marriage. Later he was killed by Emily because she feared that he would leave her.
- dark complexion
- big voice
- “eyes lighter than his face”
The people who live in Jefferson. They only gossiped and speculated what happened in Emily’s life. They don’t serve much of a purpose other than to provide the reader with the outsider’s point of view.
Tobe (Emily's Servant):
Emily’s servant. He didn’t talk much, and he seemed to just be there. He was Emily’s only connection to the outside when she locked herself up in her house. When Emily died, he left her house and was never seen again.
- dark skinned
Symbolized the good changes for Emily. When the sidewalk project started, she got to meet Homer and fell in love with him. She stayed happy until the sidewalk was completed, and that was when she decided to buy poison to kill Homer.
Symbolized Emily’s desire to stay with the person she loves. It also symbolized her insanity, since it showed just how far she was willing to go to keep Homer from leaving her.
Symbolized the outsider’s point of view. Since the narrator represents the townspeople, the reader gets to understand what they think about the events throughout the story.
Emily's Strand of Hair
Symbolized Emily’s desire for happiness. Showed that by sleeping next to Homer’s dead body, Homer will never truly leave Emily, and she was able to stay with his body until she died with no fear that he will leave her for another person.
Resistance to Change
- Colonel Sartoris allowed Emily to go by without paying any taxes. Once he died, the new mayors and others tried to make her pay taxes again. She refused, saying that Colonel Sartoris remitted her taxes.
- When Emily’s father died, she refused to let the people bury the body and kept insisting that he was not dead. Eventually she backed down.
- In order to keep anything from changing between Emily and Homer, Emily killed Homer and slept with his dead body.
The Power of Death
- Death played a major role in the story
- The story started with the mention of Emily’s death
- Emily died slowly due to her insanity.
- Emily denied death when her father died and stated that he wasn’t dead.
- Emily slept with the body of her dead lover.
The setting is in Jefferson, Mississippi in Yoknapatawpha County. This place is entirely fictional.
This story is from the townspeople’s point of view. That way the reader can see what the outsider thinks about Emily’s actions, and how they figure out what happened in the end.
The story has a dark tone. It has the elements of death, mystery, and horror that adds to the creepy tone.
The Watching of Others
- The narrator watches over Emily’s actions and tells the reader the townspeople’s views of the events.
- The townspeople always keep an eye out for whatever it is Emily’s doing and spreading gossip about her.
- Emily denied her father’s death for a while before she finally gave in and let them bury him.
- It seems like Emily sort of denies that things will turn for the worse after she
kills Homer since she has him all to herself now and she knows that he will never leave her.
The time period was three generations after the Civil War.
Emily’s house, like Emily herself, is a monument, the only remaining emblem of a dying world of Southern aristocracy. The outside of the large, square frame house is lavishly decorated. The cupolas, spires, and scrolled balconies are the hallmarks of a decadent style of architecture that became popular in the 1870s. By the time the story takes place, much has changed. The street and neighborhood, at one time affluent, pristine, and privileged, have lost their standing as the realm of the elite. The house is in some ways an extension of Emily: it bares its “stubborn and coquettish decay” to the town’s residents. It is a testament to the endurance and preservation of tradition but now seems out of place among the cotton wagons, gasoline pumps, and other industrial trappings that surround it—just as the South’s old values are out of place in a changing society.
Later on in Faulker´s life...
Faulkner changed the spelling of his last name when publishing his first book of poetry.
•In an attempt to create a saga of his own, Faulkner has invented a host of characters typical of the historical growth and subsequent decadence of the South. The human drama in Faulkner's novels is then built on the model of the actual, historical drama extending over almost a century and a half Each story and each novel contributes to the construction of a whole, which is the imaginary Yoknapatawpha County and its inhabitants. Their theme is the decay of the old South, as represented by the Sartoris and Compson families, and the emergence of ruthless and brash newcomers, the Snopeses.
Theme and Technique and contributions to Literature
•He writes in Sothern Gothic Style Genre.
•Theme and technique - the distortion of time through the use of the inner monologue are fused particularly successfully in The Sound and the Fury(1929), the downfall of the Compson family seen through the minds of several characters. The novel Sanctuary (1931) is about the degeneration of Temple Drake, a young girl from a distinguished southern family. Its sequel, Requiem For A Nun (1951), written partly as a drama, centered on the courtroom trial of a Negro woman who had once been a party to Temple Drake's debauchery. In Light in August (1932), prejudice is shown to be most destructive when it is internalized, as in Joe Christmas, who believes, though there is no proof of it, that one of his parents was a Negro. The theme of racial prejudice is brought up again in Absalom, Absalom! (1936), in which a young man is rejected by his father and brother because of his mixed blood. Faulkner's most outspoken moral evaluation of the relationship and the problems between Negroes and whites is to be found in Intruder In the Dust (1948).
•In 1940, Faulkner published the first volume of the Snopes trilogy, The Hamlet, to be followed by two volumes, The Town (1957) and The Mansion(1959), all of them tracing the rise of the insidious Snopes family to positions of power and wealth in the community.
•The reivers, his last - and most humorous - work, with great many similarities to Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn, appeared in 1962, the year of Faulkner's death.
How does the story relate to his life?
•There aren’t many connections within the story and the authors life. However, there are many connections between other stories of Southern Gothic Style that he wrote, all including murder and mystery.
A Rose for Emily Trailer
From Nobel Lectures, Literature 1901-1967, Editor Horst Frenz, Elsevier Publishing Company, Amsterdam, 1969