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Rose For Emily Essay

1351 words - 6 pages

Throughout history there has been a big difference between the North and the South. Now however, they have both changed but there are still some people who live the old way. This is shown in the William Faulkner story “A Rose For Emily”. In this story there is a woman, Ms. Emily Grierson that lives in the ways of the old South when all the people of her town have changed and moved on in their way of living, but they still look up to her because she is a strong representation of their past. There is also a man named Homer Barron who came to the town from the north to work. He strongly represented the north and brought change to the South. Faulkner uses these two characters, Homer and Emily, ...view middle of the document...

Besides the insight into this period of time, Faulkner uses it to develop his gruesome ending with the love affair between Emily and Homer. Emily is the embodiment of the post civil-war mentality that persisted with many southerners accustomed to high society lifestyles. Homer was the newer generation day laborer from the north referred to in the book as a "Yankee." From the time they meet in the story it is apparent that it is an ill-fated relationship.
In part IV of the story Faulkner wrote "because Homer himself had remarked – he liked men, and it was known that he drank with the younger men…that he was not a marrying man." With this Faulkner gives the prelude to an unhappy ending for the two characters.
One of the less noticeable clues to the ending but none the less important is toward the middle of the story with Emily's reluctance to give up the body of her father. A bit before that the townspeople remarked that Emily could possibly be crazy. When her father died she refused to give the body and remarked that her father was not dead. However, the townspeople passed this behavior off as her clinging to all she had left since her father had supposedly run off any man that had an interest in Emily. Immediately after that she met Homer when the town council paved the sidewalks.
During the stay of Emily's family while she was dating Homer, Emily goes to the drug store to purchase poison. Faulkner throws the story out of chronological order by first telling of the purchasing of the poison while Emily's family is staying with her and then telling why they came. By doing this Faulkner would appear to be obscuring his clues to the ending but still keeping the reader mindful. Emily enters the drugstore and requests poison. At first she doesn't want a specific poison, just the best the druggist has. After the druggist names several poisons Emily requests arsenic. The druggist then makes several attempts of inquiry into the Emily's use of the poison. She is very defiant and refuses to state her purpose, she just intimidates him by staring him down until he complies with her wishes. In the next part of the story it is explained how her family comes to stay to persuade her and Homer to marry, but it was actually during that time that she purchased the poison.
After the family visits and the poison the town folk notice that Homer has left the town. It is believed that he has left to make ready for Emily or to give her the chance to get rid of the cousins. A week...

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