This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Symbolism In "A Rose For Emily" And "Barn Burning" By William Faulkner

1046 words - 4 pages

In his many works of fiction, William Faulkner explores the lives of characters who live in the closed society of the American South, a society rooted in traditional values. In the short stories "Barn Burning" and "A Rose for Emily," Faulkner explores what happens when individuals lose their connection to this society and its values. Both Abner Snopes, a rebellious sharecropper, and Emily Grierson, an unmarried woman from a prominent family, are isolated from their respective communities, and both find themselves in a kind of societal limbo. Once in that limbo, they no longer feel the need to adhere to the values of their society and, as a result,are free to violate both traditional and moral rules.Initially, Emily's isolation is not her own creation; it is thrust upon her. From childhood on, Emily is never really allowed to be part of Jefferson society; she is seen as having a "high and mighty" attitude (Faulkner, "Rose" 32). Her father stands between her and the rest of the town, refusing to allow her to date the young men who pursue her, whom he sees as somehownot good enough for her. As a result, her only close relationship is with her father, who essentially becomes her whole world. Recalling father and daughter, the narrator depicts them as static and alone, trapped in a living portrait, "Miss Emily a slender figure in white in the background, her father a spraddled silhouette in the foreground, his back to her and clutching a horsewhip" (Faulkner, "Rose" 31), framed by the archway of the entrance to their house. When Emily's father dies, and the townspeople insist on removing his body from her home, the only world she knows is physically taken from her, and she has nothing to take its place. Without her father, without friends, without a husband, she withdraws from her community, and thus, is free to defy its rules with a shocking act of violence.While Emily's removal from society is forced upon her, Abner Snopes voluntarily rejects his society's values from the beginning. During the Civil War, he does not fight alongside the Confederate army; instead, he adopts an aggressive neutrality, stealing from both sides for hisown personal gain. He is finally caught by the side he betrays when a Confederate policeman shoots him in the heel as Abner tries to escape on a stolen horse. Unable to see his own fault in that episode, Abner uses his injury as an excuse for a personal vendetta against society.However, because he has a wife and three children whom he must feed and provide for, Abner must constantly return to the society that he turned his back on. This conflict between his rebellious nature and his need to work as a sharecropper makes him unstable. Like Emily, hedoes not see himself as part of the community, and therefore he feels free to violate its rules.Once Emily and Abner are estranged from their respective communities, they no longer see themselves as bound by the society's laws and rules. This makes it possible for Abner to burn...

Find Another Essay On Symbolism in "A Rose for Emily" and "Barn Burning" by William Faulkner

William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily and Barn Burning

1207 words - 5 pages Symbolism in William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily and Barn Burning If we compare William Faulkner's two short stories, 'A Rose for Emily' and 'Barn Burning', he structures the plots of these two stories differently. However, both of the stories note the effect of a father¡¦s teaching, and in both the protagonists Miss Emily and Sarty make their own

A Rose for Emily and Barn Burning

1011 words - 4 pages William Faulkner some would say was one of the great writers of American literature during the twentieth century. His stories many times had a gothic plot and contained odd or supernatural ideas and characters. He had many notable works, two of which were “A Rose for Emily” and “Barn Burning”. “A Rose for Emily” and “Barn Burning” are similar in the way that William Faulkner portrays the characters and the tone he uses in both. Emily the

Different Meanings of Symbolism in A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner

2121 words - 8 pages stubborn about it and told everyone he wasn’t dead. As she lived these few years with grief and pain, Miss. Emily was in her own sadness. In the article “A Rose for Emily” the author, William Faulkner declares: “She told them her father was not dead. She did that for the next three days, with the ministers calling on her, and the doctors, trying to persuade her to let them dispose the body” (1218). It’s stating the stubbornness. Homer

A rose for emily by: William Faulkner

1738 words - 7 pages scared he would leave her, and then she lay beside him. Holding somebody, cuddling with somebody, and hugging somebody are all things that symbolize love. "The body (Homer's) had apparently once lain in the attitude of embrace" (Faulkner, 289). Miss Emily cuddled with this dead body. She was in need of and longed for love. Symbolism describes the character of Miss Emily in even more depth.In "A Rose for Emily," there are several different themes

A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner

1275 words - 5 pages after Emily passes away, they still place her on a pedestal and refer to her as a “fallen monument,” (Faulkner 220). In Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily,” the reader can relate to the town members and their belief on preserving tradition. This is done through Falkner’s choice in literary elements: such as setting, motif, point of view, symbolism, and metaphor. Work Cited Argiro, Thomas Robert. "Miss Emily after Dark." Mississippi Quarterly: The

"A rose for Emily" by William Faulkner

1301 words - 5 pages In "A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner, we see how past events effect the main character Miss Emily, especially her mental state. She seems to live in a sort of fantasy world where death has no real meaning. Miss Emily refuses to accept or even recognize, the death of her father or that of Colonel Satoris. She does not want to acknowledge the fact that the world around her was changing therefore Miss Emily surrounds herself with death. What

A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner

1318 words - 5 pages “A Rose for Emily” opens with a line that immediately tells the audience that the main character, Emily Grierson, lived a life that was on display; “When Emily Grierson died, our whole town went to her funeral” (Faulkner 119). The voyeurism that is evident throughout the story, following the life of the main character through the perspective of her watchful community, is introduced by the very first line. In Donaldson’s essay, she explains that

A Rose for Emily, by William Faulkner

1804 words - 7 pages 2011 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

"A Rose For Emily" by William Faulkner

1020 words - 4 pages A Rose or A Thorn?In the story "A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner, readers get an idea of a different time and place. He also portrays to us this old woman who has become a thorn in the townships side. Faulkner describes Emily as "a tradition, duty, and a care; sort of hereditary obligation upon the town" (246), but was this really just an old women unwilling to accept change?He puts you in the scenes by giving great details of her house

"A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner

1087 words - 4 pages The Past Is the Present After World War One, there were many changes occurring in the world. Man's inherent need to follow tradition was now being challenged by a continually changing, modern world. The past and the present often conflicted. William Faulkner, a southern born writer, based much of his novels and short stories on this conflict. He aptly reflects the turmoil of the past and the present in, " A Rose for Emily". The conflict between

A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner

1598 words - 6 pages Running Head: A Rose for Emily by William FaulknerA Rose for Emily by William FaulknerA Rose for Emily by William FaulknerPart I. General Writing and AnalysisWilliam Faulkner is a writer of "A Rose for Emily". On September 25, 1897, he was born in New Albany, Mississippi. His grandfather was a writer, and he benefit from poetry at a very initial age. He was lived near the University of Mississippi at Oxford, where he ultimately studied Spanish

Similar Essays

A Summary, Analysis And Evaluation Of "A Rose For Emily" By William Faulkner And Comparison Between "A Rose For Emily" And "Barn Burning" By William Faulkner

721 words - 3 pages disappears and is never seen nor heard from again. Ten years pass and Emily dies. The townspeople were curious and went to her home to see where she had lived her life. Upon their arrival they find a corpse lying on a bed in a mysterious locked room upstairs. On the bed, next to the corpse there was a "long strand of iron-gray hair" (36).In "A Rose for Emily," William Faulkner tells a story about a young woman who is overly influenced and controlled by

Symbolism In A Rose For Emily By William Faulkner

812 words - 3 pages Symbolism in A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner William Faulkner used a great deal of symbolism in this story. His use of symbolism captivated the reader until the shocking end of the story. Some of the symbolism was blatant while some was vague and disguised. While Faulkner’s use of the color white in this story wasn’t obvious at first it soon becomes clear that the color white represents innocence and youth. The Grierson house

Symbolism In A Rose For Emily By William Faulkner

967 words - 4 pages ." The strand of gray hair tells how time goes by. " the town tells time first by Emily’s gray hair, when she disappears into her house after her hair turned iron gray." the town knows how much time has passed because of Emily’s gray hair. In conclusion in " A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner characters and objects are more than persons. The character an objects symbolized a lot of things. They meant something way deeper than what they meant

Symbolism In A Rose For Emily By William Faulkner

2286 words - 9 pages Emily” by William Faulkner. Miss Emily Grierson is a symbol of stubbornness. Once Emily’s father died, she really didn’t know what to do to herself. She was so use to having things done for her. She refused to believe that the life she knew she had been gone, when her father passed. In the article titled, “Symbols in A Rose for Emily,” the author declares: “Emily alienated herself inside her house to avoid people and change” (Study Mode