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“A Rose for Emily”
-----By William Faulkner

Summary
"A Rose for Emily" recounts the story
of an eccentric spinster, Emily Grierson. An unnamed narrator details the strange circumstances of Emily’s life and her odd relationships with her father, who controlled and manipulated her, and her lover, the Yankee road worker Homer Barron. When Homer Barron threatens to leave her, she is seen buying arsenic, which the townspeople believe she will commit suicide with. After this, Homer Barron is not heard from again, and is assumed to have returned north.

Though she does not commit suicide, the townspeople of Jefferson continue to gossip about her and her eccentricities, citing her family's history of mental illness. She is heard from less and less, and rarely ever leaves her home. The townspeople even don’t know that ,until her death — in her upstairs room she hides all day with the corpse of Homer Barron, which explains the horrid stench that emits from Miss Emily's house.

Characteristics
? The plot’s order and time frame
? ? ? ? Southern Gothic genre Symbolization in text Conflicts among the characters Necrophilia – she loved and slept with the dead.

Plot
The plot thickens at this point with the death of her new acquired male suitor Mr. Homer Barron. After a description about Mr. Barron being a “not a marrying man” and Miss Emily psychological problem stemming from attachment, leads the reader to believe that Miss Emily may have killed Mr. Barron with the thought of, if I can’t have him no one can. This theory is compounded by Miss Emily’s purchase of rat poison for no apparent reason and an effort to make the entire town think she was married extremely obvious that suspicion only increases.

Plot
“Then we noticed that in the second pillow was the indentation of a head. One of us lifted something from it, and leaning forward, the faint and invisible dust dry and acrid in the nostrils, we saw a long strand of iron-gray hair.” This passage leads the reader to believe she intentionally poisoned him or the perspective that she is so distraught by her loss she can only lay next to the withering body in total confusion.

A major characteristic that contributes to the popularity, success, and or readability is the “gothic” overtones the author implores when describing certain aspects of the surrounding.

----“It smelled of dust and disuse-a close dank smell. The Negro led them into the parlor. It was furnished in heavy, leather-covered furniture. When the Negro opened the blinds of one window they could see the leather cracked…, a faint dust rose sluggishly about their thighs.”

These passages give the reader a vivid description of the setting the story takes place. The author accounts plumes of dust, cracked leather, and faded colors along with over descriptors such as lack of sunlight, varnished silver, molded material, and the mere fact that rotting corpses are left in household all contribute to the gothic overtones that create a dreary environment that captures the reader.

Symbols
The Rose in the Title:

Rose , or the funeral “I just want to give her a rose.” (Faulkner) In his later age, Faulkner expresses a lot of pity and sympathy for her. The house: Coquettish decay--flirting with us– but still a eyesore Taxes: the exemption as an act of courtesy of the older generation.

Symbols
? Emily: A defiant spirit representing the
past against the town’s needs for progress. A voice of the old triumphs over the new. in the present, ready to take his pleasure and depart, apparently unwillint to consider the possibility of defeat neither by tradition(the Griersons) nor by time itself(death).

? Homer Barron: the Yankee(北方佬), lived

Conflict
-Miss -Miss -Miss -Miss -Miss Emily Emily Emily Emily Emily vs. vs. vs. vs. vs. her father townspeople herself her cousins Homer

The Town ??Emily
? Feels pity for her; – that she is falling but it’s not her fault; – Wants her to get married.

? Emily is not to be looked down upon
– her way of getting the poison; [the town thought she was going to commit suicide.]

Miss Emily ?? Her Father
? Control her and influence on her; - his repression leads her date a man he would not approve of - take control in the only manner possible
Emily has strange and weird behavior - distorted, self-enclosed Tableau Vivant (活人画像)

Tableau Vivant (活人画像)
? Her father’s portrait A representation of a scene, picture, by a person or group in costume, posing silently without motion, an actual stoppage of human action,
– "a freezing of time and motion in order that a certain quality of the human experience may be held and contemplated"

Tableau Vivant (活人画像)
? Miss Emily’s tableau vivant
"We had long thought of them as a tableau, 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, the two of them framed by the backflung front door."

Links to the tableau vivant
? Miss Emily, the “ idol ” in the window, paragraph 24. ? Followed immediately by the tableau of she and her father, paragraph 25. ? Resembles the angels in the church windows, paragraph 29. ? The “carven torso of the idol in the niche” paragraph 51.

TONE
Conversational, gossipy. Mysterious Bizarre, strange Grotesque Southern Gothic

STYLE
Long, complicated sentences. -interruptions -big, bookish words

Lots of description. Flashbacks. Not much dialogue.

Other Things You Should Know
? About the author –William Faukner ? “A Rose for Emily”

? The Germ of an Idea
? Faulkner on Miss Emily

William

Faulkner

William Faulkner was born in 1897 from an old southern family and grew in Oxford, Mississippi. · He joined the Canadian and the British, Royal Air Force during the First World War. He then studied for a while at the University of Mississippi.

· The reivers, his last piece of literature, with many similarities to Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn, appeared in 1962, the year of Faulkner's death

Some of his major works
?
The Sound and the Fury 《喧哗与骚动》 ? As I Lay Dying 1930 ? Sanctuary 1931 ? Light in August 1932 ? The Wild Palms 1939 ? Absalom, Absalom! 《押 沙龙,押沙龙!》 1936 ? The Hamlet 1940 ?A Fable 1954

Writing honors
? Elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters, 1939 ? Nobel Prize for Literature, 1949 ? Awarded the Howells Medal for distinguished work in American Fiction, 1950 ? National Book Award,1951 ? Awarded the French Legion of Honor, 1951 ? A Reminiscence, Pulitzer Prize, posthumously awarded, 1962 ? Eudora Welty presented Faulkner with the Gold Medal for Fiction awarded by the American Academy of Arts and Letters, 1962, a month before his death

Nobel Prize
His Nobel Prize Acceptance speech is today considered one of the finest ever made:

“The problems of the human heart in conflict with itself…alone can make good writing because only that is worth writing about, worth the agony and the sweat.”

Faulkner, in his Nobel Prize Acceptance speech, 1950.

“A Rose for Emily”
? Faulkner's first short story published in a national magazine
? Originally published in Forum Magazine, April 30, 1930. ? Later reprinted in a revised version in These 13. ? Original version was reprinted in Collected Stories.

In A Rose for Emily
Miss Emily is portrayed in the beginning of the story as an elderly women that was once part of high society and is now part of the bitter decay of the town. Some attributes of her personality consist of a women broken over time through the loss of loved ones, a self-confidence or ego that defines her inability to need or want help ( a sort of independence), and growing up and living in a environment rich in history like that of the civil war.

Faulkner on Miss Emily
? "She had been trained that you do not take a lover. You marry, you don’t take a lover. She had broken all the laws of her tradition, her background, and she had finally broken the laws of God, too, which says you do not take a human life. And she knew what she was doing was wrong, and that’s why her own life was wrecked. Instead of murdering one lover, and then to go and take another and when she used him up murder him, she was expatiating her crime."

The Germ of an Idea
Where he got the idea:
―That came from a picture of the strand of hair on the pillow. It was a ghost story. Simply a picture of a strand of hair on the pillow in the abandoned house.‖ – Faulkner in the University


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