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Analysis of a_rose_for_emily

  1. Analysisof “ ” (by WilliamFaulkner)
  2. Key Elements  Information about the Author.  Plot of the story.  Themes.  Context.  Characters.  Setting.  Imagery.  Simbolism.  “Bonus Track”: a song played by the British band ‘The Zombies’, which is included at the end of this presentation.
  3. Information about the Author  William Faulkner was an American poet and narrator. He was born in 1897 in New Albany, Mississippi.  The past of several of his ancestors inspired him, in somehow, to write their stories (they were involved in the Mexican-American War, the Civil War, and in the Reconstruction).
  4. Information about the Author •Faulkner took Oxford and their surrounding area as a huge inspiration and thus, he created the fictional Yoknapatawpha County and the Jefferson's town. •Faulkner was specially interested in the decay of the South after the Civil War.
  5. Information about the Author •Faulkner accomplished a wide recognition as a novelist in the twentieth century because of his experimental style (he was a real pioneer in regards to the literary modernism). •Faulkner won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1949. Thirteen years later, in 1962, he died in Mississippi due to a myocardial heart attack.
  6. Plot of the story •The story is split into five sections. In the first part, the narrator reminds the period of Emily Grierson's death and the different attitudes that showed the people of the town towards her funeral and in regards to her home, to which anybody had accessed for more than ten years (except for her servant, Tobe). •The house depicts a kind of pattern of a glorious age that had been lost and completely changed.
  7. Plot of the story •In the second section, the narrator refers to a series of events that happened in Emily's life thirty years earlier. Here are mentioned the decease of her father and the influence that he had above her, the supposed abandonment that she suffered for a man that she thought that was going to marry her and their unceasing denial to pay the taxes (supported by Colonel Sartoris). •Others relevant features are the complaints by the strong smell that comes from the house and the untrue compassion that the people of the town pretend to show the same people who hate Emily's lifestyle.
  8. Plot of the story •In the third section, the narrator portraits how begins the relationship between Emily and Homer Barron, a northerner who is the director of a construction company that was contracted by the town to pave the sidewalks. Barron turns popular in town and his meetings with Emily are more frequently and, in sight of locals. •Despite her incipient courtship, Emily could never overcome the death of her father and begins to suffer a sickness that makes her behave strangely and feel strongly the inquisitive look of the people about their reputation. Therefore, she decides to buy a powerful poison without almost giving no explanation for what purpose she is going to use it.
  9. Plot of the story •In the fourth section, Homer Barron is away from the town for a while, but people think he is with the wedding organization or avoiding Emily's relatives. When her cousins leave, Homer returns one night and he was never seen again. •Emily gets older fat and gray and clings to the loneliness of her home. Only her servant is seen entering and leaving the house.
  10. Plot of the story •In the last section, the narrator tells what happened after Emily's death. The people of the town and her cousins attend to their last goodbye. Some time later, the townspeople broke down a door of a bedroom's upstairs that had been closed over forty years. •In that room, they discovered the body of Homer Barron in a progressive state of decadence. Next to him, in the pillow, there was a clear mark of a head and a gray long strand of Emily's hair.
  11. Themes  Control • Emily’s father with so much power over the life of his daughter. • A description of the narrator proves this domination: "Miss Emily a slender figure in white in the background...her the foreground, his back to her and clutching a horsewhip, the two of them framed by the back flung front door“.
  12. Themes  Community Vs Isolation • The odd relationship between the town of Jefferson and Emily. • Her father prevents her from dating anyone because he doesn’t believe any of the men in Jefferson are good enough for her and, after his death, Emily continues to isolate herself from the rest of the community for the better part of her life.
  13. Themes  Constant struggle between the Past and the Present • Emily cannot let go of the past. • She believes in the importance of heritage and aristocracy and is holding on to the antebellum beliefs of the past.
  14. Themes  Death • It is prevalent. • There are obvious references to death throughout the story.
  15. Context As the poem was written during one of the harshest times in the world, it provides great analogies that may be transferred into the historical events of the1929 Great Depression and the changes that the South adopted after the Civil War. William Faulkner wrote a fictional story, but he introduced parallel topics of reality into his works, such as Yoknapatawpha County, colonel Sartoris and the decay of the Griersons during tough and changing times.
  16. Context William Faulkner describes the Grierson house as a prominent structure “It was a big, squarish frame house that had once been white decorated with cupolas and spires and scrolled balconies in the heavily lightsome style of the seventies, set on what had once been our most select street.” This is a representation of what the house and the south were prior to the end of the Civil War, and gradual decay of the house and Emily Grierson represent the changes that came after the Civil War ended.
  17. Context The end of the civil war brought about changes for the south that not all southern population was content with. However, they all had to live with the regulations brought up on them on order to stay within the law. The negligence of Emily to pay taxes may refer to the south unwillingness to pay for the financial crisis that the Yankees had put in the nation. “I have no taxes in Jefferson. Colonel Sartoris explained it to me. Perhaps one of you can gain access to the city records and satisfy yourselves.” This quote is with high probability to the southern people feeling cheated into paying for a crisis such as the 1929 stock market crash.
  18. Characters  Emily Grierson • Main character of the story. • Shadowy and mysterious in the minds of the citizens in her town. • Her father controlled her social life.
  19. Characters  Mr. Grierson • Central figure in Emily's life. • He had made Emily into a hermit.
  20. Characters  Homer Barron • Central figure in Emily's life. • He is the Yankee foreman of the construction company hired to pave the town's sidewalks. • He is interested in Emily. He falls in love with her. • He is killed by Emily.
  21. Characters  Tobe • The servant in the Grierson house. • The only person who stays in contact with Emily. • The man who keeps Emily's secrets.
  22. Characters  Judge Stevens • The Mayor of Jefferson.
  23. Characters  Colonel Sartoris • A former Mayor of Jefferson. • He absolved Emily of any tax burden after the death of her father.
  24. Setting •It's a place that displays decay and death. •All of the incidents happens inside the house. •A large house with old fashion details. •Faulkner describes masterfully the characteristics of the House. “It was big, squarish frame house that hade once been white, decorated with cupolas and spires and scrolled balconies in the heavily lightsome style of seventies, set on what had once been our most select street.”
  25. Imagery Dust The layers of dust also suggest the cloud of darkness that hides Emily’s true nature and the secrets that her house contains. In the final scene, the dust is an oppressive presence that seems to emanate from Homer’s dead body. The dust, which is everywhere, looks even more horrible there. Smells When the aldermen arrive to try and secure Emily’s annual tax payment, the house smells of “dust and disuse”.
  26. Symbolism The House • It's an emblem, an allegory of a golden period for the aristocracy but it also reflects decadence and the loss of wealth that experienced the richer people. • It's mysterious, intriguing and means a sort of monument of the ‘old good times for the wealthy’. • Faulkner highlights this meaning with this description:”Only Miss Emily’s house was left, lifting its stubborn and coquettish decay above the cotton wagons and the gasoline pumps- an eyesore among eyesores”.
  27. Symbolism The Strand of Hair • It's like a souvenir of the lost love for Emily, it functions as a sort of a nice memory for her. • The colour of the strand of hair, that strong and deep gray, stresses the process of transformation that Emily made across the years, a complete change that modified her physically and mentally.
  28. Bonus Track The following song has the same name of this story and the lyrics show the huge impact that the Faulkner's narration had in the members of the group. The song was released in 1968 in the album 'Odessey and Oracle' of the british rock band The Zombies.
  29. Lyrics • "A Rose For Emily" The summer is here at last The sky is overcast And no one brings a rose for Emily. She watches her flowers grow While lovers come and go To give each other roses from her tree But not a rose for Emily... Emily, can't you see (how the sun is shining again) There's nothing you can do? There's loving everywhere But none for you... Her roses are fading now She keeps her pride somehow That's all she has protecting her from pain. And as the years go by She will grow old and die The roses in her garden fade away Not one left for her grave Not a rose for Emily...
  30. Group Members María Cecilia Vasirani. Gastón Asconiga.