A Rose for Emily Essay

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A Dying Tradition and the Struggle for Existence The beauty of life is that everyone is free to make his or her own choices about life and what circumstances make them happy or unhappy. Christopher McCandless, famous for his Alaskan adventure in April 1992, writes: “So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more dangerous to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future… The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.” (Krakauer, 56-57) Christopher was making a choice outside of the norm. His choices were to stay comfortably in society or venture out on his own to explore his ideas. Christopher’s idea of changing was living in the wild and off of the land. One of his challenges was trying to help society understand his decision but most would like to stay in the comfort of what they know than to explore alternative lifestyles. This struggle between embracing new ideas and holding true to past traditions is a common theme seen throughout history in literature. At the end of World War I, William Faulkner wrote a short story, “A Rose for Emily”, which explored the struggle between preserving tradition and accepting change. America was changing dramatically. Women’s movements progressed, industry evolved, and new ideologies were being to take root. The social shift can been seen through Faulkner’s use symbolism. Emily’s home, her actions, Homer, and Faulkner’s use of colors all represents tradition, how it is changing, and the lengths taken to preserve the old ideas, ultimately exploring the

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