Jack Wu English 1B – Professor Meehan 03/05/13 “Rose for Emily” Analysis In “A Rose for Emily”; William Faulkner details the loneliness and selfishness of peculiar woman, Miss Emily. Miss Emily is unable to grip the idea of death and suffers great deals of denial. After the death of her father, the townspeople expected her to be in a state of grief but alas she is not. Instead she proceeds to say that her father is very well with her, alive. William Faulkner’s idea of grieving is clear in this story because he shows his audience that it is better to accept death than to ignore it through the accounts of Miss Emily’s journey.
William Faulkner’s story takes place in the South, during a time period of racial discrimination and major political change. By using reader response criticism, a reader can analyze “A Rose for Emily” through the aspects of the secret held within the story, race found through anthropology, and gender found through anthropology. To begin with, one can analyze “A Rose for Emily” by examining the underlying hidden message found within the story. The hidden message that William Faulkner tried to convey in his story was the themes of death and change.
Death looms through the story from the beginning right on through to the end as the narrator begins describing the beginning of Miss Emily’s funeral. Miss Emily herself chooses not to accept the fate of death when her extremely controlling father passes away. Miss. Emily later killed Homer to ensure that he would never leave her. This is Miss Emily’s most severe attempt to preserve her life and the time period in which she lived. Miss. Emily believes that having nothing is less painful than grief over something lost. To further examine “A Rose for Emily” is by analyzing gender, Mr.
Faulkner explains the roles of women in the South and how they were seen through the eyes of men. One can clearly see that through the opening sentence of the story, the narrator is stating that women gossip while men are caring and serious. This is only one of many passages that show that Mr. Faulkner is attempting to make men the stronger gender. “Only a man of Colonel Satoris’s generation could have invented it and only a women could have believed it” Faulkner. Colonel Satoris is described as being an ingenious man but in this sentence, Miss Emily’s name isn’t even mentioned when the two are compared.
The statement made in this story is that men are the better gender. There are many aspects that were incorporated into “A Rose for Emily”. William Faulkner was able to create a story involving many ideas about society and how it functioned in a specific time period in the South. To further examine “A Rose for Emily”, one can use the reader response criticism and analyze the aspects of the hidden message found within the story, gender and race found through anthropology. “A Rose for Emily” is an important element in literature due to examination of the effects of change created in the olden South.