The Importance Of Traditions In A Rose For Emily And The Boat

997 words - 4 pages

The loss of tradition is a sub theme in both short stories, A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner and The Boat by Alistair Macleod. In the former, the loss of tradition is seen by Miss Emily losing her way of life in the old South. In the latter, the boat is the tradition for the story. The tradition is lost as outsiders come in and the daughters leave with the effeminate strangers and abandon the community and the cherished way of life of their mother. However, this tradition represented by Emily’s house and the boat gradually disappears in both stories.
To be specific, first, the house that Emily lives in is the symbol of tradition for the story.
The house in the story is still standing, but is surrounded by industrialization is a symbol for the loss of tradition in the South. The house which was built during the cotton boom was on the most selected streets of its time. The house has seen the grand times to the loss of tradition with the battle of Jefferson and now is the grave for tradition.
In Macleod’s story, the boat is the symbol of tradition as it represents the way of family and life. The family as a unit and working together to run the boat is the foundation of tradition on the East Coast. The men would use the boat to fish and earn a living. The women would take care of the lobster traps and run the house in the same fashion as the men ran the boat. The tradition from the boat even happens with the naming of the boat which by tradition was named after the wife’s maiden name.
As time goes by, however, these symbols of tradition in both short stories lose their place in society. The house in Faulkner’s novel is displaced by the placement of town and loses its importance on a once important street. The loss of tradition in the house has had the same supervene on Emily. In MacLeod’s novel, the boat loses the importance on the family as children move away and the husband passes away. Consequently the mother is left with no boat to attend to, metaphorically, she is lost just as tradition, and the boat is lost.
Specifically, the daughters moving out and leaving the community is a symbol of the loss of tradition in that women stay home and run the house as the men run their boats. The women would have lunches ready for the men as they make their way down to the piers and set out for a day of fishing. In winter, the boat would still pay a pivotal role in the community as lobster traps are needed to be sown and mended. However, this tradition is lost since the daughters move out of the community with the outsiders that would come each summer. Even children start to ignore the boat for books and freedom from the hard life from the sea, which represents the final loss of the tradition in the...

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