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A Rose for Emily Literary Analysis


A Rose for Emily Literary Analysis

Author bio

The author of the short story A Rose for Emily is William Faulkner (born 1897). He came from a family from Southern United States, growing up in Oxford, Mississippi. During the First World War, he was part of the Canadian and Royal British Flying Force. The majority of the rest of his life was invested writing novels and narratives in his farm in Oxford.

But he did experience couple of brief stints as a journalist and even as a scriptwriter in Hollywood. Faulkner’s characters are based on the Southern culture– either showing the development of the Southern culture or its death.

The most typical style in Faulkner’s works is the decay of the old South, normally represented by the Sartosis and Compson households’ downfall accompanied by the introduction of the brand-new generation who oppose the traditions of the old families. Faulkner passed away on July 6, 1962. (The Nobel Structure, 1949).


The story starts with, ironically enough, the death of the main lead character, Emily Grierson. But the death of Emily is not the highlight of the narrative, a twist in the end would prove to be more significant. After her father’s and her enthusiast’s death, Emily separated herself from the remainder of the world, she never came out after their deaths, just her servant Tobe, was seen being available in and out of Ms. Emily’s house.

Soon the authorities of the town took notice that she was not paying her taxes which she believed that is non-existent because of some plan Colonel Sartosis did in the past. The authorities might refrain from doing anything to make her pay, so she was left alone. Simply as she was left alone when a strong decomposing odor came out of her house.

Just through a thief like effort was the stink able to be corrected. The smell developed because the remains of her death dad stayed in the house for a long time. It was a foreshadowing of things to come. She got included with a popular guy in the area named Homer Barron but they never ever got wed since Homer Barron “liked” males.

The entire town believed that Emily was going to kill herself– she purchased some Arsenic from the regional druggist. Not long after she bought the poison, Homer disappeared however no one suspected murder. A very long time passes and Emily eventually passed away. To the shock of lots of, they found the remains, or what remains of the body of Homer Barron in among the spaces in Emily’s home. On the pillow, a strand of grey hair was found suggesting that Emily slept with the corpse.


Emily Grierson– Emily Grierson is the primary lead character of Faulkner’s short story. Born from a prominent household, she had problem finding an other half due to the fact that of her family believed that nobody was good enough to fit the household’s high requirements. She was the town’s things of intrigue, everything she does and does refrain from doing is the town’s concern– how she handles her father’s death, her love life, and even her failure to pay taxes. Emily was probably insane, her refusal to accept death, like the death of her daddy and her murderous nature like what she did to Homer Barron might show her madness.

Homer Barron– Homer Barron was a Yankee construction employee that entered town and was associated with a relationship with Emily. Everyone thought that he is going to wed Emily however her fondness of other guys avoided him from doing so. As an outcome he was poisoned by Emily using the Arsenic that she bought from the local druggist.

Colonel Sartosis– the mayor of the town at the time when Emily’s father died. He exempted Emily from taxes. He developed a story that would conceal the truth behind his decision to exempt Emily from taxes– Emily was excused by the Colonel out of sympathy due to the fact that your house was all that was delegated Emily.

Tobe– Tobe is the Negro servant of Emily, he hardly talks, probably as a result of Emily’s silence in the house. However despite the silence between the master and the servant, Tobe remains devoted to Emily up until her death. When the town authorities pertained to Emily’s house to gather taxes, Tobe vigilantly accompanied them out of the house upon Emily’s request, and he is seen coming in and out of the house purchasing materials for Emily.


One of the significant and obvious themes in A Rose for Emily is death– death begins the narrative, it is discovered in the center and it ends the story. The very first mention of death is the death of Emily herself, and through the flashbacks of the unnamed storyteller, the death of other family members and Homer Barron’s death was discussed. The short story ends the exact same way it begins, which is concluding the story of how Emily passed away.

Another significant style is isolation. Emily was separated all throughout the story. Only her relationship with Homer Barron was her intimate kind of interaction to any of the other characters in the story. Only small intrusions from the townsmen breaks her isolated life– the town officials who wished to collect taxes, the males that broke inside your home to get rid of the smell, and the cousins that visited her after her father’s death. Even Tobe, the closest person, a minimum of physically, to Emily, arguably never ever spoke with her in a non-professional manner.

Paradox and Foreshadowing

What’s ironic with the story is Emily’s seclusion. Through the narration, readers would conclude that she was the subject of intrigue within the town, just about anything she does is known to the townspeople, and yet she purposely separates herself from the remainder of the world. Meanwhile, foreshadowing is one element that Faulkner was not shy of using in this story. Emily’s rejection to accept the death of her father foreshadows her propensity for necrophilia.

Functions Mentioned

The Nobel Structure. Bio of William Faulkner. 1949. Recovered 7 April 2009
From: http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1949/faulkner-bio.html

Faulkner, William. A Rose for Emily. From the Norton Introduction to Literature Web Site. Retrieved 7 April 2009. From:

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