05.06.2020 in Book Report
A Rose for Emily

People are a part of nature, which always seeks to defy nature. They follow their family traditions, and class ideologies, giving little attention to the unavoidable course of nature. The create big names, become popular and respectable among fellow men and expect nature to honor those human acknowledgments. They build towns and homes, to be elegant and outstanding the vicinity, forgetting that time catches up with everything. Nature runs on, paying homage to nothing and no one. As time tickles nature continues in its best characteristic change. People ought to change as nature changes, but they do understand that. In the short story A Rose For Emily, William Faulkner through diction, symbolism, first impression, and characterization communicates that human beings cannot cheat nature, they can only thrive through allowing it to conjure them, and otherwise, they will be fallen monuments.

Faulkner begins by telling the audience that Miss Emily was a fallen monument, in her death. In the first one sentence paragraph, the author arouses the reader’s interest, to know how Emily is a monument. He also creates suspicion by saying that women were curious to see the inside of her house. From that paragraph, the readers understand that Emily did not lead, what is by nature, a normal life.


To illuminate Emily’s uniqueness, Faulkner uses a very strong diction in the story. The phrase fallen monument implies that she was a figure of importance while alive. Then every reader wonders, why fallen? Further, Faulkner uses the words tradition, duty, and care to describe Emily. The use of these words gives the impression that Emily was a deity in her days. Further, he writes saying the highly and mighty Griersons and the gross teeming world. These words imply that the Grierson family was never a part of the people. This phrase explains how Emily was a monument. In every human language, she was not a commoner. To further create her outstanding personality, Faulkner compares Emily to an idol, when she appears through lighted windows. When he talks of her father’s crayon face musing over the bier during her burial, he also implies the supremacy of the family.

Progressively, he proceeds in the second paragraph to show how nothing stands against nature regardless of how elegant it was. Faulkner explains how Emily’s house, like her, and the Grierson family were outstanding throughout the town over the years. The family was elegant, so were the house and the street where it is. However, he sharply contrasts this by showing the toll time has taken on the house, and the inevitable death of the last of the Grierson (Ard 1). He writes the street was once the town’s select, but other impermanent structures deluded its glory. The same way the glory of the street faded, the legacy of Emily goes with her to her grave.

After creating an air of suspense, the author employs narration to fill in the readers with the details of what man Emily a monument. The unchanging nature of the Grierson family was a pain not only to the family but also the whole town. They could not change with the needs of the town, forcing the aldermen and the mayor to desperate measures. He narrates how Emily had refused to accept change over the years. Interestingly, Faulkner uses his narration to point out how time had caught up with Emily, and the beauty of the house. The narration reveals something. Emily is either sick or refuses to acknowledge that change has occurred over the years. She addresses Mayor Jefferson, a man who died decades ago. Could it be that the madness that runs in the family affects Emily? Or is it her stubbornness? Or is it her loneliness that overwhelms her beside her senses? It is difficult to answer these questions.

Then he continues narrating the aloof behavior of Emily, showing that all the same, nature always prevails. Even though Emily denies her father’s death, she later breaks down and allows the town’s folk to bury him hurriedly. Regardless of her denial, and resistance to change, she gives in to the inevitability of change. On the same note, Faulkner notes that the town’s people did not consider Emily’s denial at that point as madness; because they expected she would hold on to the thing that snatched her life from her (Ard 1). Although she seemed aloof, the people understand that she felt lonely after her father turned down all suitors who asked for her hand in marriage. She could have been from the most influential family, but the natural order applies to her too. She needed a companion in life, what her father snatched from her. Therefore, to keep the balance of nature, she wants her dead father to be her companion.

Intriguingly, Faulkner identifies a pattern or persistence in Emily’s behavior, which suggests rigidity. She behaves towards the aldermen; in the same manner, she had thirty years ago. Miss Emily plainly denies the reality and turns down any effort with finality. Her father dies, and the town’s people offer their condolences and help, but she flatly informs them that her father is alive. She does not allow them to perform his last rites, nor does she wear as a grieving person. Two years later, a smell develops from her house, but she lives in it as if nothing is happening. Neighbors complain to the mayor, but she turns down every offer to help with the cleaning. Apparently, Emily has a tendency of living in denial after all. Her failure to acknowledge the aldermen asking for the tax is just a sequence in a pattern.

Finally, the author creates the images of Emily at different times from a slender-figure in white with the support of her father, to a short, obese woman in black and the grey-haired woman in death. At one moment he compares her to angles on church windows with contrasting traits tragic and serene. The use of these conflicting traits symbolizes the life of Emily. She was living two lives which cannot be merged. As the author reveals, she always went against the society’s expectation. The author outlines that her hair remained as that of an active man even at seventy-four when she died. Through these physical developments, the author shows that Emily was adamant and could not bend to the natural order, but nature did not spare her. When her body could not resist aging and age transformations, she did not change her lifestyle as it is normal.

In conclusion, Human beings cannot defy change, by resisting it, or even behaving in contrast to normalcy. Emily spent her life working against change as it occurred. Through the use of diction, Faulkner presents Emily as a self-made society-endorsed goddess. Her family was always aloof, but that did not deter the natural occurrence of death or development around them. Through narration, the author points out many contrasting traits of Emily and her father, which sought do defy nature unsuccessfully. The visualization of Emily’s body at different times was the evidence of the power of change over humanity. By showing that the Grierson family had a pattern of denial, the author emphasizes the relentless efforts of humanity in the fight against change and nature. The tragic end of the Grierson family, as a fallen monument, proves that regardless of the efforts of man against nature, nature will always win.

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