20 Oct. 2013
A Rose for Emily, written in 1930 by William Faulkner, is full of dark descriptions, eerie symbolism, and cold imagery to vividly illustrate the romantic-gothic era of the eighteen hundreds, in which the story is based. During this “romantic-gothic” era death was viewed by many as a part of life, as beautiful and sacred as love itself. Many authors, such as Faulkner and Edgar Allen Poe in-scripted darkness and sorrow in their stories; connecting love, life, death, and darkness. As one reads Faulkner’s A Rose for Emily it is interesting to see how life today and life in Emily’s time has changed drastically. From differences in people’s views, behavior, mannerisms, language, and writing, it is apparent Faulkner is not a modern-day author.
When reading modern literature today involving love stories we expect a happy ending, in which you turn the last page of the story and set your book down; joyful that the leading characters walked away hand in hand, and lived happily ever after. However, in the times of Emily Grierson love stories were more morbid than heart lifting. Love and death were viewed as both equally beautiful, and apart of each other. While reader’s today may view A Rose for Emily as a sad story about a sad and sadistic women. Looking through the eyes of someone from the eighteen hundreds and you may see a beautiful story about a lonely woman whose love and fear overcame her.
Many of the writings from this time had the theme “love hurts”, which Faulkner portrays excellently throughout the story. His best example of this sadistic correlation between love and death is indicated when Emily’s neighbors find her assumed husband Homer dead, and as they looked “down at the profound and fleshless grin” (par63) maybe that had realized what Emily had done. Faulkner even illustrates the pillow laid next to Homer’s frail remains which held the “indention of a head” (par 64) and a “long strand of iron-gray...