The Denial Theme in Literature:A Comparison of Faulkner, Miller, & Poe<br />Cheryl Bennett<br />Lit 125<br />Prof. Ross<br...
2<br />The Denial Theme in Literature:A Comparison of Faulkner, Miller, & Poe<br />The theme of denial is very prominent i...
Faulkner’s A Rose for Emily<br />
Faulkner:A Rose for Emily<br />Emily  Grierson resides in her own rose-colored world. The townspeople perpetuate her denia...
Faulkner:A Rose for Emily<br />She denies the town her father’s body for three days after he died.<br />“She told them her...
Faulkner:A Rose for Emily<br />She denies the townspeople the right to hang a mailbox and numbers on her house.<br />“When...
Faulkner:A Rose for Emily<br />The townspeople deny that Miss Emily is no longer an aristocratic citizen because tradition...
Faulkner:A Rose for Emily<br />The townspeople deny that they have a right to tell her that there is a stench around her h...
Faulkner:A Rose for Emily<br />The townspeople deny that Emily and Homer could possibly be in love for several reasons.<br...
Miller’sDeath of a Salesman<br />
Miller:Death of a Salesman<br />Willy Loman exists in a delusional reality where he exudes success, adoration, and cheerfu...
Miller:Death of a Salesman<br />Willy Loman denies that he is a mediocre salesperson.<br />Act 1, scene three, “They know ...
Miller:Death of a Salesman<br />Willy is antagonistic towards anyone or anything who threatens to penetrate his dreamy vie...
Miller:Death of a Salesman<br />Linda denies that her husband is trying to kill himself.<br />“Remember I wrote you that h...
Miller:Death of a Salesman<br />Linda always contradicts Willy’s self-depreciating remarks.<br />“You don’t talk too much,...
Miller:Death of a Salesman<br />Linda sums up what has pushed Willy into his fantasy world on pages 1802-1803 when she sta...
Miller:Death of a Salesman<br />Happy and Biff deny that something is amiss with their father’s outlook by playacting out ...
Miller:Death of a Salesman<br />Willy has a nervous breakdown when Biff confronts Willy with the rubber hose and the knowl...
Poe’sThe Raven<br />
Poe:The Raven<br />The narrator attempts to deny that his love, Lenore, is no longer among the living. The narrator become...
Poe:The Raven<br />The narrator denies his love, Lenore is gone.<br />In stanza two, “Eagerly I wished the morrow;-vainly ...
Poe:The Raven<br />He denies that he is lonely.<br />The eighth and ninth stanza reveal the narrator’s happiness that the ...
Poe:The Raven<br />He denies that the raven is just a bird. <br />In Stanzas fifteen and sixteen the narrator labels the r...
The Similarities Between Emily, Willy, and The Narrator<br />
The narrator of The Raven is similar to both Emily Grierson and Willy Loman in that he allows an outside influence to dict...
Similar to the townspeople of Jefferson, Willy’s family helps to perpetuate Willy’s fantasies because they assume that the...
Willie Loman in Death of a Salesman, like Miss Grierson in A Rose for Emily and the narrator of The Raven, denies reality ...
Denial is in use, in some form, within most writings. A character most often deny their surroundings, emotions, friends, f...
References<br />
30<br />Faulkner, W., (2007). A Rose for Emily. In DiYanni, Literature: Reading<br />Fiction,Poetry, and Drama. New York: ...
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The denial theme in literature show

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A comparison of A Rose for Emily, Death of a Salesman, and The Raven.

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The denial theme in literature show

  1. 1. The Denial Theme in Literature:A Comparison of Faulkner, Miller, & Poe<br />Cheryl Bennett<br />Lit 125<br />Prof. Ross<br />March 2010<br />
  2. 2. 2<br />The Denial Theme in Literature:A Comparison of Faulkner, Miller, & Poe<br />The theme of denial is very prominent in the story “A Rose for Emily”, the play “Death of a Salesman”, and the poem “The Raven” because within each piece the main characters’ refusal to acknowledge reality helps them to create a dreamlike state where they can remain indifferent towards the truth. However, it is a momentary solution to their predicaments. <br />
  3. 3. Faulkner’s A Rose for Emily<br />
  4. 4. Faulkner:A Rose for Emily<br />Emily Grierson resides in her own rose-colored world. The townspeople perpetuate her denial of reality because they feel that it would be disrespectful to upset her. When her lover, Homer, threatens her reality, she murders him and stows his body away in an upper bedroom until his discovery after her funeral.<br />4<br />
  5. 5. Faulkner:A Rose for Emily<br />She denies the town her father’s body for three days after he died.<br />“She told them her father was not dead. She did that for three days, with the ministers calling on her and the doctors, trying to persuade her to let them dispose of the body” (DiYanni, 2007, p. 81.)<br />She denies Homer his life and that their “marriage” never existed.<br />“The man himself lay in the bed. . . The body had apparently once lain in the attitude of an embrace, but now the long sleep that outlasts love, . . had cuckolded him” (DiYanni, 2007, p. 84.)<br />5<br />
  6. 6. Faulkner:A Rose for Emily<br />She denies the townspeople the right to hang a mailbox and numbers on her house.<br />“When the town got free postal delivery, Miss Emily alone refused to let them fasten the metal numbers above her door and attach a mailbox to it” (DiYanni, 2007, p. 83.)<br />She denies that she needs to pay taxes.<br />“See Colonel Sartoris. I have no taxes in Jefferson” (DiYanni, 2007, p. 80.)<br />6<br />
  7. 7. Faulkner:A Rose for Emily<br />The townspeople deny that Miss Emily is no longer an aristocratic citizen because tradition dictates it would be improper to do so. <br />“Alive, Miss Emily had been a tradition, a duty, and a care; a sort of hereditary obligation upon the town” (DiYanni, 2007, p. 79.)<br />The townspeople “believed that the Griersons held themselves a little too high for what they really were” (DiYanni, 2007, p. 81.)<br />7<br />
  8. 8. Faulkner:A Rose for Emily<br />The townspeople deny that they have a right to tell her that there is a stench around her house; instead, they cover it up with lime.<br />“Dammit, sir, will you accuse a lady to her face of smelling bad? . . Four men crossed Miss Emily’s lawn and slunk about the house like burglars . . while one of them . . . sprinkled lime there and in all the outbuildings” (DiYanni, 2007, pp. 80-81.)<br />8<br />
  9. 9. Faulkner:A Rose for Emily<br />The townspeople deny that Emily and Homer could possibly be in love for several reasons.<br />“Of course a Grierson would not think seriously of a Northerner, a day laborer” (DiYanni, 2007, p. 82.) <br />“Then some of the ladies began to say that it was a disgrace to the town and a bad example to the young people” (DiYanni, 2007, p. 83.)<br />“even grief could not cause a real lady to forget noblesse oblige” (Di Yanni, 2007, p. 82.)Noblesse oblige: the inferred obligation of people of high rank to behave morally towards other people.<br />9<br />
  10. 10. Miller’sDeath of a Salesman<br />
  11. 11. Miller:Death of a Salesman<br />Willy Loman exists in a delusional reality where he exudes success, adoration, and cheerfulness. Linda, his wife, and their two sons help to perpetuate Willy’s fantasies because they feel that he will acknowledge reality eventually on his own and that they do not have the right to interfere with the patriarch of the family. <br />11<br />
  12. 12. Miller:Death of a Salesman<br />Willy Loman denies that he is a mediocre salesperson.<br />Act 1, scene three, “They know me boys, they know me up and down New England. . . . I can park my car in any street in New England, and the cops protect it like their own” (DiYanni, 2007, p. 1789.)<br />“I never have to wait in line to see a buyer” (DiYanni, 2007, p. 1790.)<br />12<br />
  13. 13. Miller:Death of a Salesman<br />Willy is antagonistic towards anyone or anything who threatens to penetrate his dreamy view of reality.<br />“Don’t be a pest, Bernard! What an anemic” when Bernard tells Willy that Biff is about to flunk out of school.<br />Willy expels young Biff out of the house when he calls Willy a fake after the discovery of Willy’s mistress. <br />“I’m always in a race with the junkyard” (DiYanni, 2007, p. 1810.)<br />13<br />
  14. 14. Miller:Death of a Salesman<br />Linda denies that her husband is trying to kill himself.<br />“Remember I wrote you that he smashed up the car again? . . . All these accidents in the last year weren’t- weren’t accidents” (DiYanni, 2007, p. 1803.)<br />She removes the rubber hose from behind the water heater and yet replaces it because she feels that it might insult Willy (DiYanni, 2007, p. 1804.) <br />14<br />
  15. 15. Miller:Death of a Salesman<br />Linda always contradicts Willy’s self-depreciating remarks.<br />“You don’t talk too much, you’re just lively” (DiYanni, 2007, p. 1792.)<br />“. . .you’re the handsomest man in the world” (DiYanni, 2007, p. 1792.)<br />“There’s nothing to make up, dear. You’re doing fine” (DiYanni, 2007, p. 1793.)<br />15<br />
  16. 16. Miller:Death of a Salesman<br />Linda sums up what has pushed Willy into his fantasy world on pages 1802-1803 when she states that,<br />When he brought them business, when he was young, they were glad to see him. But now his old friends, the old buyers that loved him so and always found some order to hand him in a pinch- they’re all dead, retired. . . . He drives seven hundred miles, and when he gets there no one knows him any more, no one welcomes him. And what goes through a man’s mind, driving seven hundred miles home without having earned a cent? . . . When he has to go to Charley and borrow fifty dollars a week and pretend to me that it’s his pay? How long can that go on?<br />16<br />
  17. 17. Miller:Death of a Salesman<br />Happy and Biff deny that something is amiss with their father’s outlook by playacting out Willy’s daydreams that they are both successful business people.<br />Happy says, “I thought of a great idea to sell sporting goods. You and I, Biff- we have a line- the Loman Line. . . . It’s a million dollars’ worth of publicity. . . . Baby, we could sell sporting goods” (DiYanni, 2007, p. 1806.)<br />Biff pretends that he has a job interview with Oliver, his old boss, and that he will be a big success selling sporting goods. <br />17<br />
  18. 18. Miller:Death of a Salesman<br />Willy has a nervous breakdown when Biff confronts Willy with the rubber hose and the knowledge that Willy is trying to kill himself, and that Biff is not a successful businessman but a thief. <br />Willy drives away in the car, crashes it, and passes away after one last argument with Biff; In essence Willy Loman is driving away from the truth about himself and his American dream.<br />18<br />
  19. 19. Poe’sThe Raven<br />
  20. 20. Poe:The Raven<br />The narrator attempts to deny that his love, Lenore, is no longer among the living. The narrator becomes increasingly angrier with each of the raven’s declarations of nevermore. In the end, the narrator denies that the raven is just a bird and nothing more.<br />20<br />
  21. 21. Poe:The Raven<br />The narrator denies his love, Lenore is gone.<br />In stanza two, “Eagerly I wished the morrow;-vainly I had sought to borrow from my books surcease of sorrow-sorrow for the lost Lenore” (DiYanni, 2007, p.1173.)<br />In stanza five he states that he gazed down the hallway and, “stood there wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared dream before; . . . And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, Lenore! . . . Merely this and nothing more” (DiYanni, 2007, p. 1173.)<br />21<br />
  22. 22. Poe:The Raven<br />He denies that he is lonely.<br />The eighth and ninth stanza reveal the narrator’s happiness that the raven’s presence is a distraction from his solitude (DiYanni, 2007, p. 1174.).<br />In stanza ten the narrator believes that the raven will leave “on the morrow . . As my Hopes have flown before” like all his other friends have before (DiYanni, 2007, p. 1174.)<br />22<br />
  23. 23. Poe:The Raven<br />He denies that the raven is just a bird. <br />In Stanzas fifteen and sixteen the narrator labels the raven a prophet of evil, fiend, and a devil (DiYanni, 2007, p. 1175.)<br />23<br />
  24. 24. The Similarities Between Emily, Willy, and The Narrator<br />
  25. 25. The narrator of The Raven is similar to both Emily Grierson and Willy Loman in that he allows an outside influence to dictate his actions<br />All of these major characters are lonely.<br />All three characters are unreceptive towards any person or thing that threatens to reveal the truth about their delusional reality. <br />Death is a consequence of each case of extreme denial because its removal gives Willy the motivation to commit suicide, it induces Emily Grierson to murder Homer Barron, and the narrator’s sanity “dies” under the strain of his questioning of the raven.<br />All Three<br />25<br />
  26. 26. Similar to the townspeople of Jefferson, Willy’s family helps to perpetuate Willy’s fantasies because they assume that they do not have the right to interfere with the delusions. The narrator of The Raven perpetuates his own fantasies by allowing the raven’s answer of nevermore to interfere with his acceptance of Lenore’s death.<br />All Three<br />26<br />
  27. 27. Willie Loman in Death of a Salesman, like Miss Grierson in A Rose for Emily and the narrator of The Raven, denies reality because the truth means reevaluating his ambitions, his priorities, and his definition of happiness. <br />Physical and vocal violent outbursts are Miss Grierson’s, Willy’s, and The Raven narrator’s defiant resistance of each of their true predicaments between fact and fiction.<br />All three major characters run from the truth about their delusions by either committing murder, committing vehicular suicide, and/or becoming mentally insane.<br />All Three<br />27<br />
  28. 28. Denial is in use, in some form, within most writings. A character most often deny their surroundings, emotions, friends, family, and themselves. Characters will frequently vehemently deny any contribution that threatens to alter their chosen view of reality. These three examples, Faulkner’s story A Rose for Emily, Miller’s play Death of a Salesman, and Poe’s poem The Raven use denial as the catalyst to gain the sympathy of the reader. Each character’s state of denial promotes the destruction of their mental and physical health. <br />
  29. 29. References<br />
  30. 30. 30<br />Faulkner, W., (2007). A Rose for Emily. In DiYanni, Literature: Reading<br />Fiction,Poetry, and Drama. New York: McGraw-Hill Companies<br />Inc.<br />Miller, A., (2007). Death of a Salesman. In DiYanni, Literature: Reading<br />Fiction, Poetry,and Drama. New York: McGraw-Hill Companies<br />Inc.<br />Poe, E., (2007). The Raven. In DiYanni, Literature: Reading Fiction,<br />Poetry, andDrama. New York: McGraw-Hill Companies Inc.<br />

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