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Symbolism In William Faulkner's A Rose For Emily

1156 words - 5 pages

William Faulkner's, "A Rose for Emily," is a short story that is narrated by an anonymous character to be considered as the voice of the home town and tells the story out of order. The story is based on the life of Emily Grierson and how it connects with the South after the Civil War. There are many parts in the story that show symbolism in varieties of ways. Some of these symbols include Emily's house, her hair, her clothing, and even the "rose" that is brought in the story. Symbolism is shown throughout many different ways through all forms of literature. It is mainly shown through the main theme as well as the smaller themes that are throughout the story. Symbolism is used to represent ideas or qualities through the use of symbols.
The title itself is the first hint of symbolism that is shown throughout this short story. A rose is most often used as a symbol for love in which case during this story Homer is the "rose" for Emily, or also known as the love for Emily. Emily's father was a man who never allowed or agreed to any many being good enough for his daughter. Because of this, Emily was never able to experience love until the day she met Homer. A rose is also able to symbolize silence. This can be interpreted throughout the story that Homer was still Emily's rose, but then known as her "secret." Emily cherished and loved Homer and kept him to herself after his body was corrupted throughout time. Many women dry out roses in order to keep them forever. Emily was known to have a distorted and out of the ordinary mind, and with this said, she wanted to keep Homer forever by "drying out her rose." The room where she placed Homer Barron was described as having "rose-shaded lights" (330) which also can connect to the symbol of the rose. Emily being unable to let go of her rose Jelena had said, "Unable to accept change and abandonment, Emily had murdered her fickle lover and had kept his body for years" (Kristovic 28). She was unable to accept the fact that Homer was gone, and she did not want to let go. By not wanting to let go, to fix this situation, she decided to keep Homer's body with her. As Cromie stated, "'A Rose for Emily' would seem to be saying that man must come to terms both with the past and the present; for to ignore the first is to be guilty of a foolish innocence, to ignore the second is to become monstrous and inhuman, above all to betray an excessive pride, before humbling fact of death" (Cromie 75). Emily has not been one to be able to take what has happened in the past and adjust her life to this. With this said, by taking Homer's body with her and keeping it, she was taking what has happened in the past with her, and that was her way of coping with what had happened and making herself satisfied without being able to leave it in the past. The symbol of the rose can be taken and interpreted in many different ways throughout the story, whether it be the form of "love" or the form of "secret" Homer was known to be Emily's...

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