Everybody Would Hand a Rose
In his short story, “A Rose for Emily” William Faulkner gives us a picture of female identity from a male point of view, showing compassion and forgiveness for his central character. Intriguingly, the writer uses the word “rose” in the title even though a rose does not exist in any part of his story; it has highly symbolic implications. Usually, the rose symbolizes love but in this case, it expresses a sympathetic attitude of society towards Emily. In reference to this story, Faulkner, in his interviews never admitted that the roses symbolized love. The story also focuses on the psychological exploration of the interior female world. Faulkner depicts the alienation of one repressed and isolated female in the South of the United States after the Civil War. Many themes might be explored in this short story, but a special interest is the focus on struggling to find love and the social interaction of a repressed female. The repression and isolation in the old Southern society causes degradation and dehumanization of Emily’s personality.
The author of the story does not represent main events according to chronological time, which shows the dehumanization of Emily. This is done not only to create suspense or to make the story more interesting, but because Emily’s time has not any kind of importance. The author seems to present the existence of two kinds of times in the life of a person; one is the psychological time and another is the biological time. Emily’s psychological time has stopped since her father died.
Artfully, the author signifies that one person starts to depart from this life firstly psychologically and later on physically:
The day after his death all the ladies prepared to call at the house and offer condolence and aid, as is our custom. Miss Emily met them at the door, dressed as usual and with no trace of grief on her face. She told them that her father was not dead. She did that for three days, with the ministers calling on her, and the doctor, trying to persuade her to let them dispose of the body. Just as they were about to resort to law and force, she broke down, and they buried her father quickly. (211)
Through the above quotation the narrator warns the reader about the first symptoms of Emily’s madness.
Usually, a story starts according to chronological time. In this story, the starting point is the ending point. It begins with Emily’s funeral. The main character’s destiny was designed before she comes to life because her madness was genetic according to the town’s people. The narrator explains, “People in our town, remembering how old lady Wyatt, her great-aunt, had gone completely crazy at last, believed that the Griesons held themselves a little too high for what they really...