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"A Rose For Emily" By William Faulkner.

1091 words - 4 pages

In William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily," we see how past events affect the life of the main character Miss Emily, especially her inability to accept change. Throughout the story Miss Emily goes to extreme measures to protect her social status. Miss Emily lives in the past to shield herself from a future that holds no promises and no guarantees. William Faulkner illustrates Miss Emily's inability to accept change through the physical, social and historical settings, all of which are intimately related to the Grierson house.The Grierson house is a physical reminder of Miss Emily's reluctance to change. The "big squarish frame house that had once been white, decorated with cupolas and scrolled balconies in the heavenly lightsome style of the seventies (236)" was located on one of the most prominent and prestigious neighborhoods in the town of Jefferson. However, times changed and new generations replaced the old ones and the town moved on towards the future. The houses were replaced by cotton gins and auto garages until only Miss Emily's house was left. The Grierson house is a visible reminder that Miss Emily can not accept change. Miss Emily refuses to change with the town because her family once dominated it, and change means her family may not be the center of attention anymore. Even the interior of the house provides evidence of her lack of progression. "It smelled of dust and disuse (237)." The leather of the furniture was cracked, and when the chairs were sat upon, "a faint dust rose about [the] thighs (237)." Miss Emily, like the Grierson house, seems to be submerged in the shadows of time and refuses to let the light of the future through. The Grierson name was beginning to become less and less significant as time wore on and Miss Emily finds herself in a battle with the present in order to save her past.As the town of Jefferson becomes modernized Miss Emily finds herself in a conflict of social supremacy over the entire town of Jefferson. Miss Emily thrives on her past when her family had power in the South and when the Grierson name meant something. The unemotional Miss Emily denies the death of her father to the townspeople for three days and "Just as they were about to resort to law and force, she broke down, and they buried her father quickly (239)." Miss Emily becomes possessive over her father's dead body because he had such a dominating and controlling affect in her life. He robbed her of a happy life but also gave her everything she has today. Miss Emily feels vulnerable to her surrounding community with out her father's presence since he was the man who made all the choices and decisions in her life. Without her father she feels less important to the community and does not know how to handle life with out her father's guidance.Emily wants to live in a place where nothing ever changes and reality has no existence. When Miss Emily meets a Yankee by the name of Homer Baron, a construction worker with a lower social standing compared...

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