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A Rose For Emily, By William Faulkner

1136 words - 5 pages

Both of the stories that will be compared in this paper, William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily" and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, are very demented novels that contain central premises very estranged to most readers. Though Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily" is a short story, the depth and description contained inside its brief text give it the ability to be compared to a novel such as Frankenstein; primarily it's ability to explain the factors relating to Miss Emily's obsession for keeping her loved ones around after they have deceased. Similarly, in Shelley's Frankenstein, the evil and murderous nature of the beast created by Victor Frankenstein is well described in many angles and shows the prevalent need for the monster to make Victors life as unbearable and lonely as his has been since his creation and immediate expulsion by Victor. So throughout this paper I plan to show the similarities in description and style of writing of these two pieces of literature, even though they differ in length so greatly.

Both plots contain elements that shock and amaze the reader by introducing them to ideas not normally seen in most novels. The dark nature in both stories can be startling, but are the central components and are used to make for a more interesting and intriguing story for the reader. Though a horror story is more common in this day and age, a story to the effect of Frankenstein was unheard of in 1818 when the book was written. Both novels have a powerful effect on the mind and imagination of the reader. In Frankenstein before the creation Shelley says, "Who shall conceive the horrors of my secret toil as I dabbled among the unhallowed damps of the grave or tortured the living animal to animate the lifeless clay?"(p. 53) This line shows great explanation and detail while leaving so much to the readers imagination. Faulkner does much the same thing in "A Rose for Emily", saying, "What was left of him, rotted beneath what was left of the nightshirt, had become inextricable from the bed in which he lay; and upon him and upon the pillow beside him lay that even coating of the patient and biding dust."(p. 247) Both of these quotes show the dark nature and description of the cryptic images while leaving much to the imagination.

These cryptic images are also noticed in the usage of daunting setting such as the secluded house in Faulkner's story and the castle in Shelley's. Both places of creation (Frankenstein) or decay ("A Rose for Emily") reside in a more desolate or isolated setting than normal and provide a foreboding atmosphere. As Faulkner describes a "decaying" white house which was "an eyesore among eyesores" in a dwindling neighborhood, Shelley depicts a mansion which is overshadowed by a seemingly foretelling fog at the top of a hill in the countryside. The locations which these take place are used to create and ill-omened background for the stories but also give the means necessary to be able to procure a monster or a house desolate enough...

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