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  • 1. A Rose for EmilyWilliam FaulknerWilliam Faulkner was born in New Albany, Mississippi, in 1897. One of the twentieth century’s greatest writers, Faulkner earned his fame from a series of novels that explore the South’shistorical legacy, its fraught and often tensely violent present, and its uncertain future. This grouping of major works includes The Sound and the Fury (1929), As I Lay Dying (1930), Lightin August (1931), and Absalom, Absalom! (1936), all of which are rooted in Faulkner’s fictional Mississippi county, Yoknapatawpha. This imaginary setting is a microcosm of the Souththat Faulkner knew so well. It serves as a lens through which he could examine the practices, folkways, and attitudes that had divided and united the people of the South since thenation’s inception.QuantcastIn his writing, Faulkner was particularly interested in exploring the moral implications of history. As the South emerged from the Civil War and Reconstruction and attempted to shed thestigma of slavery, its residents were frequently torn between a new and an older, more established world order. Religion and politics frequently fail to provide order and guidance andinstead complicate and divide. Society, with its gossip, judgment, and harsh pronouncements, conspires to thwart the ambitions of individuals struggling to embrace their identities.Across Faulkner’s fictional landscapes, individual characters often stage epic struggles, prevented from realizing their potential or establishing their place in the world.“A Rose for Emily” was the first short story that Faulkner published in a major magazine. It appeared in the April 30, 1930, issue of Forum. Despite the earlier publication of severalnovels, when Faulkner published this story he was still struggling to make a name for himself in the United States. Few critics recognized in his prose the hallmarks of a major new voice.Slightly revised versions of the story appeared in subsequent collections of Faulkner’s short fiction—in These 13 (1931) and then Collected Stories (1950)—which helped to increase itsvisibility.Today, the much-anthologized story is among the most widely read and highly praised of Faulkner’s work. Beyond its lurid appeal and somewhat Gothic atmosphere, Faulkner’s “ghoststory,” as he once called it, gestures to broader ideas, including the tensions between North and South, complexities of a changing world order, disappearing realms of gentility andaristocracy, and rigid social constraints placed on women. Ultimately, it is the story’s chilling portrait of aberrant psychology and necrophilia that draws readers into the dank, dustyworld of Emily Grierson.Faulkner won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1949 and the Pulitzer Prize in both 1955 and 1962. He died in Byhalia, Mississippi on July 6, 1962, when he was sixty-four.Plot OverviewThe story is divided into five sections. In section I, the narrator recalls the time of Emily Grierson’s death and how the entire town attended her funeral in her home, which no strangerhad entered for more than ten years. In a once-elegant, upscale neighborhood, Emily’s house is the last vestige of the grandeur of a lost era. Colonel Sartoris, the town’s previous mayor,had suspended Emily’s tax responsibilities to the town after her father’s death, justifying the action by claiming that Mr. Grierson had once lent the community a significant sum. As new
  • 2. town leaders take over, they make unsuccessful attempts to get Emily to resume payments. When members of the Board of Aldermen pay her a visit, in the dusty and antiquated parlor,Emily reasserts the fact that she is not required to pay taxes in Jefferson and that the officials should talk to Colonel Sartoris about the matter. However, at that point he has been deadfor almost a decade. She asks her servant, Tobe, to show the men out.In section II, the narrator describes a time thirty years earlier when Emily resists another official inquiry on behalf of the town leaders, when the townspeople detect a powerful odoremanating from her property. Her father has just died, and Emily has been abandoned by the man whom the townsfolk believed Emily was to marry. As complaints mount, JudgeStevens, the mayor at the time, decides to have lime sprinkled along the foundation of the Grierson home in the middle of the night. Within a couple of weeks, the odor subsides, butthe townspeople begin to pity the increasingly reclusive Emily, remembering how her great aunt had succumbed to insanity. The townspeople have always believed that the Griersonsthought too highly of themselves, with Emily’s father driving off the many suitors deemed not good enough to marry his daughter. With no offer of marriage in sight, Emily is still singleby the time she turns thirty.The day after Mr. Grierson’s death, the women of the town call on Emily to offer their condolences. Meeting them at the door, Emily states that her father is not dead, a charade thatshe keeps up for three days. She finally turns her father’s body over for burial.In section III, the narrator describes a long illness that Emily suffers after this incident. The summer after her father’s death, the town contracts workers to pave the sidewalks, and aconstruction company, under the direction of northerner Homer Barron, is awarded the job. Homer soon becomes a popular figure in town and is seen taking Emily on buggy rides onSunday afternoons, which scandalizes the town and increases the condescension and pity they have for Emily. They feel that she is forgetting her family pride and becoming involvedwith a man beneath her station.As the affair continues and Emily’s reputation is further compromised, she goes to the drug store to purchase arsenic, a powerful poison. She is required by law to reveal how she willuse the arsenic. She offers no explanation, and the package arrives at her house labeled “For rats.”In section IV, the narrator describes the fear that some of the townspeople have that Emily will use the poison to kill herself. Her potential marriage to Homer seems increasinglyunlikely, despite their continued Sunday ritual. The more outraged women of the town insist that the Baptist minister talk with Emily. After his visit, he never speaks of what happenedand swears that he’ll never go back. So the minister’s wife writes to Emily’s two cousins in Alabama, who arrive for an extended stay. Because Emily orders a silver toilet setmonogrammed with Homer’s initials, talk of the couple’s marriage resumes. Homer, absent from town, is believed to be preparing for Emily’s move to the North or avoiding Emily’sintrusive relatives.After the cousins’ departure, Homer enters the Grierson home one evening and then is never seen again. Holed up in the house, Emily grows plump and gray. Despite the occasionallesson she gives in china painting, her door remains closed to outsiders. In what becomes an annual ritual, Emily refuses to acknowledge the tax bill. She eventually closes up the topfloor of the house. Except for the occasional glimpse of her in the window, nothing is heard from her until her death at age seventy-four. Only the servant is seen going in and out of thehouse.In section V, the narrator describes what happens after Emily dies. Emily’s body is laid out in the parlor, and the women, town elders, and two cousins attend the service. After sometime has passed, the door to a sealed upstairs room that had not been opened in forty years is broken down by the townspeople. The room is frozen in time, with the items for an
  • 3. upcoming wedding and a man’s suit laid out. Homer Barron’s body is stretched on the bed as well, in an advanced state of decay. The onlookers then notice the indentation of a head inthe pillow beside Homer’s body and a long strand of Emily’s gray hair on the pillow.Character ListEmily Grierson - The object of fascination in the story. A eccentric recluse, Emily is a mysterious figure who changes from a vibrant and hopeful young girl to a cloistered and secretiveold woman. Devastated and alone after her father’s death, she is an object of pity for the townspeople. After a life of having potential suitors rejected by her father, she spends timeafter his death with a newcomer, Homer Barron, although the chances of his marrying her decrease as the years pass. Bloated and pallid in her later years, her hair turns steel gray. Sheultimately poisons Homer and seals his corpse into an upstairs room.Read an in-depth analysis of Emily Grierson.Homer Barron - A foreman from the North. Homer is a large man with a dark complexion, a booming voice, and light-colored eyes. A gruff and demanding boss, he wins many admirersin Jefferson because of his gregarious nature and good sense of humor. He develops an interest in Emily and takes her for Sunday drives in a yellow-wheeled buggy. Despite hisattributes, the townspeople view him as a poor, if not scandalous, choice for a mate. He disappears in Emily’s house and decomposes in an attic bedroom after she kills him.Read an in-depth analysis of Homer Barron.Judge Stevens - A mayor of Jefferson. Eighty years old, Judge Stevens attempts to delicately handle the complaints about the smell emanating from the Grierson property. To berespectful of Emily’s pride and former position in the community, he and the aldermen decide to sprinkle lime on the property in the middle of the night.Mr. Grierson - Emily’s father. Mr. Grierson is a controlling, looming presence even in death, and the community clearly sees his lasting influence over Emily. He deliberately thwartsEmily’s attempts to find a husband in order to keep her under his control. We get glimpses of him in the story: in the crayon portrait kept on the gilt-edged easel in the parlor, andsilhouetted in the doorway, horsewhip in hand, having chased off another of Emily’s suitors.Tobe - Emily’s servant. Tobe, his voice supposedly rusty from lack of use, is the only lifeline that Emily has to the outside world. For years, he dutifully cares for her and tends to herneeds. Eventually the townspeople stop grilling him for information about Emily. After Emily’s death, he walks out the back door and never returns.Colonel Sartoris - A former mayor of Jefferson. Colonel Sartoris absolves Emily of any tax burden after the death of her father. His elaborate and benevolent gesture is not heeded bythe succeeding generation of town leaders.Analysis of Major CharactersEmily GriersonEmily is the classic outsider, controlling and limiting the town’s access to her true identity by remaining hidden. The house that shields Emily from the world suggests the mind of thewoman who inhabits it: shuttered, dusty, and dark. The object of the town’s intense scrutiny, Emily is a muted and mysterious figure. On one level, she exhibits the qualities of thestereotypical southern “eccentric”: unbalanced, excessively tragic, and subject to bizarre behavior. Emily enforces her own sense of law and conduct, such as when she refuses to pay
  • 4. her taxes or state her purpose for buying the poison. Emily also skirts the law when she refuses to have numbers attached to her house when federal mail service is instituted. Herdismissal of the law eventually takes on more sinister consequences, as she takes the life of the man whom she refuses to allow to abandon her.The narrator portrays Emily as a monument, but at the same time she is pitied and often irritating, demanding to live life on her own terms. The subject of gossip and speculation, thetownspeople cluck their tongues at the fact that she accepts Homer’s attentions with no firm wedding plans. After she purchases the poison, the townspeople conclude that she will killherself. Emily’s instabilities, however, lead her in a different direction, and the final scene of the story suggests that she is a necrophiliac. Necrophilia typically means a sexual attractionto dead bodies. In a broader sense, the term also describes a powerful desire to control another, usually in the context of a romantic or deeply personal relationship. Necrophiliacs tendto be so controlling in their relationships that they ultimately resort to bonding with unresponsive entities with no resistance or will—in other words, with dead bodies. Mr. Griersoncontrolled Emily, and after his death, Emily temporarily controls him by refusing to give up his dead body. She ultimately transfers this control to Homer, the object of her affection.Unable to find a traditional way to express her desire to possess Homer, Emily takes his life to achieve total power over him.Homer BarronHomer, much like Emily, is an outsider, a stranger in town who becomes the subject of gossip. Unlike Emily, however, Homer swoops into town brimming with charm, and he initiallybecomes the center of attention and the object of affection. Some townspeople distrust him because he is both a Northerner and day laborer, and his Sunday outings with Emily are inmany ways scandalous, because the townspeople regard Emily—despite her eccentricities—as being from a higher social class. Homer’s failure to properly court and marry Emilyprompts speculation and suspicion. He carouses wit younger men at the Elks Club, and the narrator portrays him as either a homosexual or simply an eternal bachelor, dedicated to hissingle status and uninterested in marriage. Homer says only that he is “not a marrying man.”As the foreman of a company that has arrived in town to pave the sidewalks, Homer is an emblem of the North and the changes that grip the once insular and genteel world of theSouth. With his machinery, Homer represents modernity and industrialization, the force of progress that is upending traditional values and provoking resistance and alarm amongtraditionalists. Homer brings innovation to the rapidly changing world of this Southern town, whose new leaders are themselves pursuing more “modern” ideas. The change that Homerbrings to Emily’s life, as her first real lover, is equally as profound and seals his grim fate as the victim of her plan to keep him permanently by her side.Themes, Motifs, and SymbolsThemesTradition versus ChangeThrough the mysterious figure of Emily Grierson, Faulkner conveys the struggle that comes from trying to maintain tradition in the face of widespread, radical change. Jefferson is at acrossroads, embracing a modern, more commercial future while still perched on the edge of the past, from the faded glory of the Grierson home to the town cemetery whereanonymous Civil War soldiers have been laid to rest. Emily herself is a tradition, steadfastly staying the same over the years despite many changes in her community. She is in many waysa mixed blessing. As a living monument to the past, she represents the traditions that people wish to respect and honor; however, she is also a burden and entirely cut off from theoutside world, nursing eccentricities that others cannot understand.
  • 5. Emily lives in a timeless vacuum and world of her own making. Refusing to have metallic numbers affixed to the side of her house when the town receives modern mail service, she isout of touch with the reality that constantly threatens to break through her carefully sealed perimeters. Garages and cotton gins have replaced the grand antebellum homes. Thealdermen try to break with the unofficial agreement about taxes once forged between Colonel Sartoris and Emily. This new and younger generation of leaders brings in Homer’scompany to pave the sidewalks. Although Jefferson still highly regards traditional notions of honor and reputation, the narrator is critical of the old men in their Confederate uniformswho gather for Emily’s funeral. For them as for her, time is relative. The past is not a faint glimmer but an ever-present, idealized realm. Emily’s macabre bridal chamber is an extremeattempt to stop time and prevent change, although doing so comes at the expense of human life.The Power of DeathDeath hangs over “A Rose for Emily,” from the narrator’s mention of Emily’s death at the beginning of the story through the description of Emily’s death-haunted life to the founderingof tradition in the face of modern changes. In every case, death prevails over every attempt to master it. Emily, a fixture in the community, gives in to death slowly. The narratorcompares her to a drowned woman, a bloated and pale figure left too long in the water. In the same description, he refers to her small, spare skeleton—she is practically dead on herfeet. Emily stands as an emblem of the Old South, a grand lady whose respectability and charm rapidly decline through the years, much like the outdated sensibilities the Griersonsrepresent. The death of the old social order will prevail, despite many townspeople’s attempts to stay true to the old ways.Emily attempts to exert power over death by denying the fact of death itself. Her bizarre relationship to the dead bodies of the men she has loved—her necrophilia—is revealed firstwhen her father dies. Unable to admit that he has died, Emily clings to the controlling paternal figure whose denial and control became the only—yet extreme—form of love she knew.She gives up his body only reluctantly. When Homer dies, Emily refuses to acknowledge it once again—although this time, she herself was responsible for bringing about the death. Inkilling Homer, she was able to keep him near her. However, Homer’s lifelessness rendered him permanently distant. Emily and Homer’s grotesque marriage reveals Emily’s disturbingattempt to fuse life and death. However, death ultimately triumphs.MotifsWatchingEmily is the subject of the intense, controlling gaze of the narrator and residents of Jefferson. In lieu of an actual connection to Emily, the townspeople create subjective and oftendistorted interpretations of the woman they know little about. They attend her funeral under the guise of respect and honor, but they really want to satisfy their lurid curiosity about thetown’s most notable eccentric. One of the ironic dimensions of the story is that for all the gossip and theorizing, no one guesses the perverse extent of Emily’s true nature.For most of the story, Emily is seen only from a distance, by people who watch her through the windows or who glimpse her in her doorway. The narrator refers to her as an object—an“idol.” This pattern changes briefly during her courtship with Homer Barron, when she leaves her house and is frequently out in the world. However, others spy on her just as avidly, andshe is still relegated to the role of object, a distant figure who takes on character according to the whims of those who watch her. In this sense, the act of watching is powerful because itreplaces an actual human presence with a made-up narrative that changes depending on who is doing the watching. No one knows the Emily that exists beyond what they can see, andher true self is visible to them only after she dies and her secrets are revealed.Dust
  • 6. A pall of dust hangs over the story, underscoring the decay and decline that figure so prominently. The dust throughout Emily’s house is a fitting accompaniment to the faded liveswithin. When the aldermen arrive to try and secure Emily’s annual tax payment, the house smells of “dust and disuse.” As they seat themselves, the movement stirs dust all aroundthem, and it slowly rises, roiling about their thighs and catching the slim beam of sunlight entering the room. The house is a place of stasis, where regrets and memories have remainedundisturbed. In a way, the dust is a protective presence; the aldermen cannot penetrate Emily’s murky relationship with reality. The layers of dust also suggest the cloud of obscuritythat hides Emily’s true nature and the secrets her house contains. In the final scene, the dust is an oppressive presence that seems to emanate from Homer’s dead body. The dust, whichis everywhere, seems even more horrible here.SymbolsEmily’s HouseEmily’s house, like Emily herself, is a monument, the only remaining emblem of a dying world of Southern aristocracy. The outside of the large, square frame house is lavishly decorated.The cupolas, spires, and scrolled balconies are the hallmarks of a decadent style of architecture that became popular in the 1870s. By the time the story takes place, much has changed.The street and neighborhood, at one time affluent, pristine, and privileged, have lost their standing as the realm of the elite. The house is in some ways an extension of Emily: it bares its“stubborn and coquettish decay” to the town’s residents. It is a testament to the endurance and preservation of tradition but now seems out of place among the cotton wagons,gasoline pumps, and other industrial trappings that surround it—just as the South’s old values are out of place in a changing society.Emily’s house also represents alienation, mental illness, and death. It is a shrine to the living past, and the sealed upstairs bedroom is her macabre trophy room where she preserves theman she would not allow to leave her. As when the group of men sprinkled lime along the foundation to counteract the stench of rotting flesh, the townspeople skulk along the edges ofEmily’s life and property. The house, like its owner, is an object of fascination for them. They project their own lurid fantasies and interpretations onto the crumbling edifice andmysterious figure inside. Emily’s death is a chance for them to gain access to this forbidden realm and confirm their wildest notions and most sensationalistic suppositions about whathad occurred on the inside.The Strand of HairThe strand of hair is a reminder of love lost and the often perverse things people do in their pursuit of happiness. The strand of hair also reveals the inner life of a woman who, despiteher eccentricities, was committed to living life on her own terms and not submitting her behavior, no matter how shocking, to the approval of others. Emily subscribes to her own moralcode and occupies a world of her own invention, where even murder is permissible. The narrator foreshadows the discovery of the long strand of hair on the pillow when he describesthe physical transformation that Emily undergoes as she ages. Her hair grows more and more grizzled until it becomes a “vigorous iron-gray.” The strand of hair ultimately stands as thelast vestige of a life left to languish and decay, much like the body of Emily’s former lover
  • 7. The rising action of a plot is the series of events that build up and create tension and suspense. This tension is a result of the basic conflict that exists and makes the story interesting.The rising action can be identified as the ingredients that complicate matters in a plot. We will see rising action in any story, from a complex novel to a simple childrens story. Forexample, the rising action in The Three Little Pigs takes place as the pigs set out on their own and begin to make their own decisions.We know that the first two individuals are asking for trouble when they choose unsound materials to build houses. These decisions (along with the wolf who lurks in the background)create an air of tension that mounts as the story progresses. Things get more and more exiting and tense each time the wolf blows down a house! The action builds toward an ultimateshowdown between pigs and wolf.In literature, the rising action comprises all the decisions, background circumstances, and character flaws that combine to create twists and turns toward a climax.The exposition introduces all of the main characters in the story. It shows how they relate to one another, what their goals and motivations are, and the kind of person they are. Theaudience may have questions about any of these things, which get settled, but if they do have them they are specific and well-focused questions. Most importantly, in the exposition,the audience gets to know the main character (protagonist), and the protagonist gets to know his or her main goal and what is at stake if he or she fails to attain this goal.This phase ends, and the next begins, with the introduction of conflict.[edit] Rising actionRising action is the second phase in Freytags five-phase structure. It starts with the death of the characters or a conflict."Conflict" in Freytags discussion must not be confused with "conflict" in Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couchs critical apparatus plots into types, e.g., man vs. society. The difference is thatan entire story can be discussed according to Quiller-Couchs mode of analysis, while Freytag is talking about the second act in a five-act play, at a time when all of the major charactershave been introduced, their motives and allegiances have been made clear (at least for the most part), and they now begin to struggle against one another.Generally, in this phase the protagonist understands his or her goal and begins to work toward it. Smaller problems thwart their initial success, and in this phase their progress isdirected primarily against these secondary obstacles. This phase shows us how he or she overcomes these obstacles.
  • 8. Thus, at the end of this phase and at the beginning of the next they are finally in a position to go up against their primary goal. This part begins after the exposition. It consists of abeginnings of a tension or complication that continues with the development of conflict between the characters[edit] ClimaxThe point of climax is the turning point of the story, where the main character makes the single big decision that defines the outcome of their story and who they are as a person. Thedramatic phase that Freytag called the "climax" is the third of the five phases, which occupies the middle of the story, and that contains the point of climax. Thus "the climax" may referto the point of climax or to the third phase of the drama.The beginning of this phase is marked by the protagonist finally having cleared away the preliminary barriers and being ready to engage with the adversary. Usually, entering this phase,both the protagonist and the antagonist have a plan to win against the other. Now for the first time we see them going against one another in direct, or nearly direct, conflict.This struggle results with neither character completely winning, nor losing, against the other. Usually, each characters plan is partially successful, and partially foiled by their adversary.What is unique about this central struggle between the two characters is that the protagonist makes a decision which shows us ones moral quality, and ultimately determines onesfate. In a tragedy, the protagonist here makes a "bad" decision, which is ones miscalculation and the appearance of ones tragic flaw.The climax often contains much of the action in a story, for example, a defining battle.[edit] Falling actionFreytag called this phase "falling action" in the sense that the loose ends are being tied up. However, it is often the time of greatest overall tension in the play, because it is the phase inwhich everything goes most wrong.In this phase, the villain has the upper hand. It seems that evil will triumph. The protagonist has never been further from accomplishing the goal. For Freytag, this is true both intragedies and comedies, because both of these types of play classically show good winning over evil. The question is which side the protagonist has put himself on, and this may not beimmediately clear to the audience.[edit] ResolutionIn the final phase of Freytags five phase structure, there is a final confrontation between the protagonist and antagonist, where one or the other decisively wins. This phase is the storyof that confrontation, of what leads up to it, of why it happens the way it happens, what it means, and what its long-term consequences are.[edit] Other viewsBesides the classical view of plot, there are other ways of looking at it.
  • 9. A 1950s writing instructor, Foster-Harris, said that plot is an emotional problem caused by two conflicting emotions being felt by the same person (the main character), and the working-out of that conflict. His system for creating popular fiction is compatible with, but distinct from, the classical understanding of plot. In particular, his focus is not on analysis butgeneration: not how to write criticism about existing plots, but how to create one.,[1] 1960, p. The basic elements of plot (Story) can be understood quite simply as Character, Conflict,Complication, Crisis-Climax, and Resolution. Change is an important element but it is inherent the actions very proper.[edit] Plot devicesMain article: Plot deviceA plot device is a means of advancing the plot in a story, often used to motivate characters, create urgency or resolve a difficulty. This can be contrasted with moving a story forwardwith narrative technique; that is, by making things happen because characters take action for solid, well-motivated reasons. As an example, when the cavalry shows up at the lastmoment and saves the day, that can be argued to be a plot device; when an adversarial character who has been struggling with himself saves the day due to a change of heart, that isdramatic technique.Familiar types of plot devices include the Deus ex Machina, the MacGuffin, and the red herring.[edit] Plot outlineA plot outline is a prose telling of a story to be turned into a screenplay. Sometimes called a "one page" (one-page synopsis, about 1-3 pages in length). It is generally longer and moredetailed than a standard synopsis (1-2 paragraphs), but shorter and less detailed than a treatment or a step outline. There are different ways to create these outlines and they vary inlength, but are basically the same thing.In comics, a pencil, often pluralized as "pencils", refers to a stage in the development where the story has been broken down very loosely in a style similar to storyboarding in filmdevelopment.The pencils will be very loose (i.e., the rough sketch), the main goals being to lay out the flow of panels across a page, to ensure the story successfully builds suspense and to work outpoints of view, camera angles and character positions within panels. This can also be referred to as a "plot outline" or a "layout".de·noue·ment Show Spelled[dey-noo-mahn] Show IPAnoun1.thefinalresolutionofthe intricacies of a plot, as of a drama or novel.
  • 10. 2.the place in the plot atwhich this occurs.3.theoutcomeorresolution of a doubtfulseries of occurrences.A character is the representation of a person in a narrativework of art (such as a novel, play, or film).[1] Derived from the ancient Greek word kharaktêr, the English word dates from theRestoration,[2] although it became widely used after its appearance in Tom Jones in 1749.[3][4] From this, the sense of "a part played by an actor" developed.[4] Character, particularlywhen enacted by an actor in the theatre or cinema, involves "the illusion of being a human person."[5] In literature, characters guide readers through their stories, helping them tounderstand plots and ponder themes.[6] Since the end of the 18th century, the phrase "in character" has been used to describe an effective impersonation by an actor.[4] Since the 19thcentury, the art of creating characters, as practised by actors or writers, has been called characterisation.[4]A character who stands as a representative of a particular class or group of people is known as a type.[7] Types include both stock characters and those that are more fullyindividualised.[7] The characters in Henrik Ibsens HeddaGabler (1891) and August Strindbergs Miss Julie (1888), for example, are representative of specific positions in the socialrelations of class and gender, such that the conflicts between the characters reveal ideological conflicts.[8]The study of a character requires an analysis of its relations with all of the other characters in the work.[9] The individual status of a character is defined through the network ofoppositions (proairetic, pragmatic, linguistic, proxemic) that it forms with the other characters.[10] The relation between characters and the action of the story shifts historically, oftenmiming shifts in society and its ideas about human individuality, self-determination, and the social order.[11]Themes, Motifs, and SymbolsThemesTradition versus ChangeThrough the mysterious figure of Emily Grierson, Faulkner conveys the struggle that comes from trying to maintain tradition in the face of widespread, radical change. Jefferson is at acrossroads, embracing a modern, more commercial future while still perched on the edge of the past, from the faded glory of the Grierson home to the town cemetery whereanonymous Civil War soldiers have been laid to rest. Emily herself is a tradition, steadfastly staying the same over the years despite many changes in her community. She is in many waysa mixed blessing. As a living monument to the past, she represents the traditions that people wish to respect and honor; however, she is also a burden and entirely cut off from theoutside world, nursing eccentricities that others cannot understand.
  • 11. Emily lives in a timeless vacuum and world of her own making. Refusing to have metallic numbers affixed to the side of her house when the town receives modern mail service, she isout of touch with the reality that constantly threatens to break through her carefully sealed perimeters. Garages and cotton gins have replaced the grand antebellum homes. Thealdermen try to break with the unofficial agreement about taxes once forged between Colonel Sartoris and Emily. This new and younger generation of leaders brings in Homer’scompany to pave the sidewalks. Although Jefferson still highly regards traditional notions of honor and reputation, the narrator is critical of the old men in their Confederate uniformswho gather for Emily’s funeral. For them as for her, time is relative. The past is not a faint glimmer but an ever-present, idealized realm. Emily’s macabre bridal chamber is an extremeattempt to stop time and prevent change, although doing so comes at the expense of human life.The Power of DeathDeath hangs over “A Rose for Emily,” from the narrator’s mention of Emily’s death at the beginning of the story through the description of Emily’s death-haunted life to the founderingof tradition in the face of modern changes. In every case, death prevails over every attempt to master it. Emily, a fixture in the community, gives in to death slowly. The narratorcompares her to a drowned woman, a bloated and pale figure left too long in the water. In the same description, he refers to her small, spare skeleton—she is practically dead on herfeet. Emily stands as an emblem of the Old South, a grand lady whose respectability and charm rapidly decline through the years, much like the outdated sensibilities the Griersonsrepresent. The death of the old social order will prevail, despite many townspeople’s attempts to stay true to the old ways.Emily attempts to exert power over death by denying the fact of death itself. Her bizarre relationship to the dead bodies of the men she has loved—her necrophilia—is revealed firstwhen her father dies. Unable to admit that he has died, Emily clings to the controlling paternal figure whose denial and control became the only—yet extreme—form of love she knew.She gives up his body only reluctantly. When Homer dies, Emily refuses to acknowledge it once again—although this time, she herself was responsible for bringing about the death. Inkilling Homer, she was able to keep him near her. However, Homer’s lifelessness rendered him permanently distant. Emily and Homer’s grotesque marriage reveals Emily’s disturbingattempt to fuse life and death. However, death ultimately triumphs.MotifsWatchingEmily is the subject of the intense, controlling gaze of the narrator and residents of Jefferson. In lieu of an actual connection to Emily, the townspeople create subjective and oftendistorted interpretations of the woman they know little about. They attend her funeral under the guise of respect and honor, but they really want to satisfy their lurid curiosity about thetown’s most notable eccentric. One of the ironic dimensions of the story is that for all the gossip and theorizing, no one guesses the perverse extent of Emily’s true nature.For most of the story, Emily is seen only from a distance, by people who watch her through the windows or who glimpse her in her doorway. The narrator refers to her as an object—an“idol.” This pattern changes briefly during her courtship with Homer Barron, when she leaves her house and is frequently out in the world. However, others spy on her just as avidly, andshe is still relegated to the role of object, a distant figure who takes on character according to the whims of those who watch her. In this sense, the act of watching is powerful because itreplaces an actual human presence with a made-up narrative that changes depending on who is doing the watching. No one knows the Emily that exists beyond what they can see, andher true self is visible to them only after she dies and her secrets are revealed.Dust
  • 12. A pall of dust hangs over the story, underscoring the decay and decline that figure so prominently. The dust throughout Emily’s house is a fitting accompaniment to the faded liveswithin. When the aldermen arrive to try and secure Emily’s annual tax payment, the house smells of “dust and disuse.” As they seat themselves, the movement stirs dust all aroundthem, and it slowly rises, roiling about their thighs and catching the slim beam of sunlight entering the room. The house is a place of stasis, where regrets and memories have remainedundisturbed. In a way, the dust is a protective presence; the aldermen cannot penetrate Emily’s murky relationship with reality. The layers of dust also suggest the cloud of obscuritythat hides Emily’s true nature and the secrets her house contains. In the final scene, the dust is an oppressive presence that seems to emanate from Homer’s dead body. The dust, whichis everywhere, seems even more horrible here.SymbolsEmily’s HouseEmily’s house, like Emily herself, is a monument, the only remaining emblem of a dying world of Southern aristocracy. The outside of the large, square frame house is lavishly decorated.The cupolas, spires, and scrolled balconies are the hallmarks of a decadent style of architecture that became popular in the 1870s. By the time the story takes place, much has changed.The street and neighborhood, at one time affluent, pristine, and privileged, have lost their standing as the realm of the elite. The house is in some ways an extension of Emily: it bares its“stubborn and coquettish decay” to the town’s residents. It is a testament to the endurance and preservation of tradition but now seems out of place among the cotton wagons,gasoline pumps, and other industrial trappings that surround it—just as the South’s old values are out of place in a changing society.Emily’s house also represents alienation, mental illness, and death. It is a shrine to the living past, and the sealed upstairs bedroom is her macabre trophy room where she preserves theman she would not allow to leave her. As when the group of men sprinkled lime along the foundation to counteract the stench of rotting flesh, the townspeople skulk along the edges ofEmily’s life and property. The house, like its owner, is an object of fascination for them. They project their own lurid fantasies and interpretations onto the crumbling edifice andmysterious figure inside. Emily’s death is a chance for them to gain access to this forbidden realm and confirm their wildest notions and most sensationalistic suppositions about whathad occurred on the inside.The Strand of HairThe strand of hair is a reminder of love lost and the often perverse things people do in their pursuit of happiness. The strand of hair also reveals the inner life of a woman who, despiteher eccentricities, was committed to living life on her own terms and not submitting her behavior, no matter how shocking, to the approval of others. Emily subscribes to her own moralcode and occupies a world of her own invention, where even murder is permissible. The narrator foreshadows the discovery of the long strand of hair on the pillow when he describesthe physical transformation that Emily undergoes as she ages. Her hair grows more and more grizzled until it becomes a “vigorous iron-gray.” The strand of hair ultimately stands as thelast vestige of a life left to languish and decay, much like the body of Emily’s former lover.
  • 13. http://www.englishexercises.org/buscador/buscar.asp?nivel=any&age=0&tipo=any&contents=adjectives#a (ADJECTIVES WEBSITE)
  • 14. Complete the chart adj comparative superlativefunny more interesting the beststronghotlargebadfastsuitableFill in with the comparative or superlative form of the adjectives1. Bill Gates is one of the people in the world. (rich)
  • 15. 2. The Dead Sea is the place in the world. (low)3. In my building there are seven floors. In your building there are five floors. My building is than your building. (tall)4. February is than April. (cold)5. The English test was than I expected. (difficult)6. Me. Jones is 75 years old. Mr. Tomas is 60 years old. Mr. Tomas is than Mr. Jones. (young)7. Rona is the girl in class. (beautiful)8. This was the lecture Ive ever heard. (boring)9. I have a headache. I feel than yesterday. (bad)10. David is the student in class. (intelligent)Choose the correct form of the adjective.1. He is very ( politer / polite ).2. It is the ( hot / hotter / hottest ) day this year.3. This road is very ( dangerous / more dangerous / the most dangerous ) . It is the ( dangerous / more dangerous / most dangerous) roadin this area.4. Apples are ( sweet / sweeter than / the sweetest) cucumbers.5. The USA is ( small / smaller than / the smallest ) Canada.Compare the pictures.
  • 16. 1. A car is (fast) a bike.2. A car is (comfortable) than a bike.3. A bike is (cheap) a car.4. A car is (expensive) than a bike.
  • 17. http://www.englishexercises.org/makeagame/viewgame.asp?id=1746