The Mysterious Grierson House Essay

753 words - 4 pages

William Faulkner’s, “A Rose for Emily”, is a captivating story about love and death. Faulkner captures the audience with numerous literary elements throughout the story. Symbolism is used to represent a strong connection between objects with a symbolic meaning. The Grierson house is used to symbolize Emily Grierson’s physical condition, her unwillingness to change, and her shift in social status.
The symbolic relationship between the house and Emily’s physical condition is vividly represented during the story. At first the Grierson house was built to impress: “It was a big, squarish frame house that once had been white…set on what had been the most select street” (787). The house progressively changes and is described as full of dust and has an indescribable odor: “It smelled of disuse- a close, dank smell… when the negro opened the blinds of one window, a faint dust rose (788). The house description is a perfect representation of how Emily ages during the story. As years went by, her figure transformed into even more bountiful proportions and her youthful strands of hair began to gray: “She had grown fat and her hair was gray…it grew grayer and grayer until it attained an even pepper and salt iron gray” (794). Both the Grierson house and Miss Emily lost their splendor.
The Grierson house is also used to show Miss Emily’s unwillingness to change. Her house was decorated with seventies décor: “… with cupolas and spires and scrolled in the heavily lightsome style of the seventies” (787). Emily held on tightly to the past. She always wanted to be viewed as superior to the rest of the town, just like her house. The house is described as “lifting its stubborn and coquettish decay above the cotton wagons and the gasoline pumps (Faulkner 787). Emily held herself as prestigious above others, as if she was the only pearl in a sea of clams. Also, when the new mayor asked her to pay taxes she refused. Emily was not required to pay taxes when Colonel Satoris was in charge and was not going to start anytime soon: “See Colonel Satoris… (Colonel Satoris had been dead almost ten years)…’I have no taxes’” (789).Emily was afraid of change and afraid of the unknown. She...

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