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A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner

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Selena Lozito

on 9 July 2014

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Transcript of A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner

A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner
Plot Chart
Formalistic Approach
Traditional Approach
Plot Summary
Part 1
Her house is a very curious object because no one in 10 years has seen inside except for her and her servant Toby.
Due to her father's death, Colonel Sartoris, suspended Emily's tax responsibilities to the town. "Supposedly" Mr. Grierson had once lent the community a large amount of money.
The Board of Aldermen visit her and she tells them she is not required to pay the taxes.
Part 2
Powerful odor coming from her property.
Judge Stevens decides to have
sprinkled along the property of the Grierson home in the middle of the night.
The day after her father's death the women of the town call on Emily to offer their condolences, but she is in denial and says her father is not dead.
After 3 days, she finally hands the father's body over for burial.
Part 3
Homer Barron is introduced in the story.
The townspeople see Homer taking Emily on buggy rides every Sunday afternoon.
Homer was from the North which was unacceptable as Emily was from the South.
Emily goes to the drug story to purchase arsenic which is a powerful poison.
She offers no explanation of how she will use it and the package arrives at her house labeled "For Rats".
Part 4
The townspeople are worried she will use the poison to kill herself.
Homer says he is not a "marrying man".
After her cousins departure, Homer enters the Grierson house and is never seen again.
Closes the top floor of her house and dies at age 74.
Part 5
After 40 years, the sealed door to the upstairs room is broken into by the townspeople.
There's a mans suit on the bed, along with Homer Barron's body, in an advanced state of decay.
The townspeople notice the indentation of a head and a grey strand of hair on the pillow beside his body.
The author begins the story with Emily Grierson's death and how everyone attended the funeral.
The story takes place in a fictitious town in Jefferson, Mississippi.
The main situations of the story were in Miss Emily's creepy house, and the small details inside the house.
Time: After the American Civil War (1861-1865)
Emily Grierson
Main Character (Protagonist)
Dynamic Character
is a character who changes or evolves throughout the story.
Begins as young and beautiful, but with time turns, fat and ugly.
Portrayed as a monument, but is often pitied and irritating, demanding her own terms. (Dominant and Controlling)
which is someone who is sexually attracted to dead bodies. They are often very controlling in relationships, and sometimes even bond with people that are dead.
Homer Barron
Major Character
Dynamic Character
who changes throughout the story.
Homer is seen as an outsider and can not be trusted because he is from the North.
He is seen as Emily's first lover and the victim of the plan of permanently keeping him by her side.
A very charming character who becomes the center of attention.
Mr. Grierson
Minor Character
Static Character
is someone who stays the same throughout the whole story.
Mr. Grierson is very controlling throughout his daughter's life, and even after he dies, there is a piece of him that still controls Emily.
The community can clearly see his influence on Emily, because when he dies, she keeps his body for 3 days.
Judge Stevens
Minor Character
Static Character
(Plays a small role in the story and does not evolve or change)
He was one of the Mayors of Jefferson.
Judge Stevens attempts to handle the situation of the
coming from Emily's property delicately.
Colonel Sartoris
Minor Character
Static Character
The former Mayor of Jefferson
Colonel Sartoris clears Emily of any tax burden when her father dies.
Makes up the "tale" that Emily's father gave money to the town.
Minor Character
Static Character
Emily's Servant
Although Tobe is only mentioned a couple times, he is still Emily's only connection to the outside world.
He cared for Emily and would tend to her needs whenever asked.
Point of View
3rd Person Objective:
The story is told by an external narrator who is not in the story (outside perspective)
The use of "he", "she" or "they"
The reader can only see actions, not what the characters are thinking; only what can be seen and heard.
Literary Devices
1. The word
in the stories title "A Rose for Emily"
The rose symbolizes the absent love she feels.

2. The Grierson House
Shields and protects Emily from the outside world.
Grows with Emily and is symbolic of her life.
3. Buying Arsenic
The buying of the poison symbolizes death, which leads the readers to believing Emily is going to kill herself or someone else.

4. The Odor coming from her house
When Judge Stevens and the other townspeople begin to get concerned because of the smell coming from Emily's house, it foreshadows her state of craziness and how if it continues to escalate something worse will happen.
Situational Irony
5. The buying of the arsenic
As readers, we believe Emily will use the arsenic to kill herself, but instead uses it on her lover Homer.
Is when the outcome of a situation is opposite of what the reader is led to expect.
6. When she was asked what she was using the arsenic for by the druggist.

7. "We saw a long strand of iron-gray hair"

8. "Up to the day of her death at seventy-four it was still that vigorous iron-gray,
the hair of an active man".

9. "She looked bloated,
a body long submerged in motionless water".

10. "Her eyes, lost in the fatty ridges of her face, looked
two small pieces of coal pressed into a lump of dough as they moved from one face to another"
11. "When Miss Emily Grierson died, our whole town went to her funeral: the men through a sort of respectful affection for a fallen monument...".
The author refers to Emily as a "fallen monument", which shows she is seen as a notable attraction in the town.
12. "Miss Emily's house was left,
lifting its stubborn and coquettish decay above the cotton wagons and the gasoline pumps....
Symbolism Continued
3. The Odor coming from her house
The odor in her house symbolizes death
13. Smell (Olfactory Imagery)
"It smelled of dust and disuse - a close, drank smell".

14. Visual Imagery
"Decorated with cupolas and spires and scrolled balconies in the heavily light some style of the seventies".

15. Visual Imagery
"a small, fat woman in black, with a thin gold chain descending to her waist and vanishing into her belt..."
Feminist Approach
Appearance vs. Reality
Emily appears to be a strong, independent woman capable of taking care of herself.
In reality, she is constantly relying on a male figure to make her feel substantial and is always really being taken care of by a man. (father and Homer)
How does Faulkner's portrayal of this seemingly strong, independent woman who beneath the surface depends on the presence of males contribute to the way that society views females?
Psychological Approach
Her Father
Colonel Sartoris
The Druggist
Homer Barron
The rest of the townspeople
Oedipal Complex
Exists between Emily and her father

Seen through:
His belief that no man is good enough to marry Emily
Her keeping his body for 3 days after his death
Her recreating her father through Homer
Super - Ego
The Narrator
Inciting Force / Crisis
She refuses to acknowledge her father has died, and keeps his body for 3 days
Townspeople and townleaders are concerned by the odor coming from her house
Refuses to continue not paying taxes, even when new leaders ask her to resume
Rising Action
The town's people begin to pity Miss Emily because of her relationship with Homer.
They believe she has lost her mind, because Homer is from the North and Emily is seen as a "high class" from the South.
Emily and Homer go on their annual Sunday buggy rides, and plan to get married.
The Minister's wife sends Emily's two cousins over to visit her.
Buying the Arscenic
This is truly the turning point for Emily. Her fear of losing Homer, causes her to go completely insane. She is so desperate for love, and to keep Homer in her life, that she has resulted to the idea of killing him.
Falling Action
People begin to wonder if Miss Emily and Homer are married
Homer goes missing
She seals the top floor of her house
Is never seen leaving her house again
Resolution (Denouement)
Emily's death at age 74
The man's suit laying on the bed
Homer Barrner decaying on the bed
The townspeople spotting the indent in the pillow and the gray hair beside the body

Our Creative Activity
In Conclusion
Emily's inability to accept and adapt change and constant need to have things as they always were, caused her mental decline which led to killing Homer and keeping him to comfort her grief.
Archetypal Approach
The Outcast
Emily Grierson
The Judge
Mayor (name and title is used interchangeably)
The Innocent
The Negro
Golden Ages
Emily and her father
Emily and Homer
God Teacher
Emily's Father
Loss of Innocence
Emily's Father Dying
Background on the Author
William C. Faulkner born on september 25th 1897 in New Albany, Mississippi, USA.
Died on July 6th 1962.
He skipped first grade, but failed grade 11, ultimately not graduating high school.
He also did not graduate University.
He often writes highly emotional, subtle, cerebral, complex, and sometimes Gothic stories of a wide variety of characters.
There was no direct link connecting or giving clues to why he wrote this short story.
Fear of Change
Always trying to recapture the Golden Age
Key Words and Definitions
Noblesse oblige:
public responsibilities of the rich, fame and powerful.
to make known.
exemption from a rule or usual requirement
one's family or relatives
a chemical element which is toxic
highly infective; malignant or deadly
spread (one’s legs) far apart
a small dome
decorative handwriting or handwritten lettering
an ugly, twisted expression on a person's face
free from disturbance
(of a speech sound) sounded with a hissing effects
Tradition vs. Change
The Power of Death
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