Professor Amy Green
Writing about Literature COM1102
10 October 2015
"A ROSE FOR EMILY"
Visual vs. Reading
William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily" is a short gothic horror story that has also been adapted into a short film. Both story and film have been largely debated, with a plethora of opinions. Faulkner’s lack of normal chronology and situation-triggered memories generates a story that has many interpretations among its readers, but surprises everyone at the end. When asked about the title of his story, Faulkner said," [The title] was an allegorical title; the meaning was, here was a woman who had had a tragedy, ...view middle of the document...
She is a "monument" at one point to them, but at the same time a bit of a burden. (Balcarcel, Rebecca 2 Mar. 2013 ;) They tend to tiptoe around Miss Emily, but their feelings do change about her over time. They consider her relationship with Homer improper, but later considered him right for her. When the smell coming from her home was so bad, assuming that it was dead rats, they deliberated over what should be done. Instead of telling her to clean it up, Judge Stevens says, "Damn it Sir, will you accuse a lady to her face of smelling bad?" (23) Walking on eggshells when it came to Miss Emily, they instead sneak around her house after midnight to sprinkle lime, to rid the smell.
Emily's tyrannical father incredibly influenced her. Du Fang describes him as being Patriarchal chauvinistic, and says, her "Father’s absolute control has obstructed Emily’s way to understand the world." (Fang, DU 2007 ;) After the death of her father, Miss Emily extracts herself from the present reality and begins living in her own illusion. Emily's refusal to acknowledge her father’s death, even after three days, is the first sign of her refusal to accept reality. Although the narrator does not say that she is crazy, he instead says, “We remembered all of the men her father had driven away, and we knew that with nothing left she would have to cling to that which had robbed her, as people will." (28) They shifted again; they again started to feel sorry for her.
The city of Jefferson is indebted to her father, however, now a younger generation is beginning to take over. Change is Miss Emily’s adversary; she ignores it, the death of her father, the tax bills, the decomposing of her house, or even refusing to acknowledge the new mail delivery, and most importantly, the idea of Homer ever leaving her. The only consistency in Emily's life is her servant Tobe. Towards the end, he was Emily's only connection with the outside world. More so than not, he was the only one that the townspeople ever saw. They would see Emily, but only at her window. She had grown fat and was getting grayer and grayer. Emily died at the age of seventy-four. Faulkner's lack of a normal chronology made for a very shocking ending. After her funeral, two of her cousins came and went upstairs to a room that stayed unseen for forty years. Upon breaking down the door, this is where they discovered "the man himself lay in the bed" (58), the rotted and decayed body of Homer. Next to him, a pillow with an indentation of a head and discovered a long strand of gray hair.
Lyndon Chubbuck's twenty-seven minute short film adaptation follows chronological order, so the viewer can actually see what is coming, this allows the film to maintain the creepy aspect, but still lacks any surprise element. When reading a story, it ends up being a personal interpretation of what the author is portraying. The film adaptations are someone else's interpretation and creative allowances that are being used visually....