Interpretations Of William Faulkner's A Rose For Emily

1506 words - 6 pages

William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily" has been interpreted in many different ways. Most of these rely solely on hints found within the story. I believe that his life can also help one analyze this story. By knowing that Faulkner's strongest influence was his independent mother, one can guess that Miss Emily Grierson's character was based partly on Maud Falkner.William Cuthbert Faulkner was born in New Albany, Mississippi on September 25, 1897. His family moved to Oxford, Mississippi when Faulkner was five years old (Larinde). His parents were Murry and Maud Falkner (Zane 2). Faulkner added the "u" to his last name on his Royal Air Force application for unknown reasons (5).Faulkner's great-grandfather, Colonel William C. Falkner had moved from Tennessee to the Mississippi Delta in 1841. The Colonel was a Civil War hero, plantation owner, railroad builder, and even a writer (Larinde). Faulkner's grandfather and father were both respected, though not wealthy. They were also both alcoholics.Faulkner and his father never had a very good relationship. He and his mother, though, were very close. Maud gave him his love of art and literature. She influenced Faulkner more than anyone else with her strong independence (Zane 3-4). She may have been the inspiration for the strong, independent character, Emily Grierson."William Faulkner was a quiet but mischievous child, polite and rude, loving and withdrawn" (4). He did well in grade school, but began showing signs of truancy during adolescence. Faulkner dropped out of high school in eleventh grade.In 1918, Faulkner attempted to enlist in the U.S. Army but was turned down. He then applied to the Royal Air Force where he adds the "u" to his last name. He was soon discharged and returned to Oxford, Mississippi. Here he attended the university for two year."In the decade that followed, Faulkner donned a host of other identities, alternately and aristocrat, a bohemian, or a derelict" (Zane 5). Faulkner established himself as a major novelist in 1929 with the book The Sound and the Fury (Larinde). He wrote twenty novels and many short stories (Zane 1). His greatest achievements were the Nobel Prize for literature in 1950, the National Book Award, and Pulitzer Prizes. All of these awards came after he was fifty (7).Although Faulkner lived in Canada, New Orleans, New York, Hollywood, and Virginia, most of his life was spent in his native Mississippi (Faulkner 177). "In his works William Faulkner used the American South as a microcosm for the universal theme of time" (Larinde). Almost all of his stories are set in the Deep South. Some critics describe Faulkner as "the quintessential Southern writer with his greatest works centered in this region" (Zane 1). Many of his stories' central themes seem to be based on themes that the South has struggled with for decades. These are race, gender, repression, myth, and heroism (2).William Faulkner struggled with financial problems and alcoholism like his father and grandfather...

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