A Rose for Emily Analysis

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In “A Rose For Emily” by William Faulkner, although the order of the plot is not chronological, it serves several purposes in making the story more interest and impactful. The chronology of events that go back and forth allows readers to make assumptions and delivers a shocking twist of Emily’s life at the end. The story focuses mainly on the old traditional way of life, social statuses, and background of characters. In the first section, Miss Emily’s funeral symbolizes the passing of “Old South” life style that has “hereditary obligation upon the town.” In contrast, the whole town represents a new generation that has “more modern ideas.” Tax is an essential element that helps to distinguish the past and the present way of life. When Miss Emily is required to pay the taxes like others by new generation, she acts stubbornly and refuses to follow the proposal because she thinks that it is irrational to ask an old Southern woman to fulfill this task; her reaction seems to reflect her attitude that cling to the past; she believes her father’s dedication to the town is still valid for the tax exemption and “see Colonel Sartoris” is her only reply to the young men even though that the mayor has passed away at least ten years ago. Another component that emphasizes Miss Emily’s mysterious life and hidden truth is the physical appearance of her and the house. They all appear to be dark and uninhabited; since the whole town have limited access to her own privacy and the author does not explicitly state any thing about her inner life, readers will be allowed to have their own guesses and suspense until the end. The second section seems to associate with the third one where the author takes all readers back to the past; Miss Emily’s father’s death and the relationship between her and Homer Barron dramatically affect on her behaviors and bizarre events around her house. The

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