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A Rose for Emily

Autor:   •  May 31, 2013  •  Essay  •  338 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,301 Views

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In "A Rose for Emily" William Faulkner exposes the contrasting societies in the Northern and Southern states of the United States. Although the story is based in a little town, the story really reflects America as a whole and how the states disagree on slavery, traditions and what is socially acceptable.

Emily herself symbolizes the south. While the town of Jefferson is changing and becoming more modern, Emily and her house stay the same and seem more traditional. Over the years she is considered a monument because of how unchanging she is. Emily is also considered a dark and mysterious person as she is sheltered in her house. This is similar to how the south was portrayed because the north considered slavery to be wrong and evil and wanted to change their ways.

Her lover, Homer, was a representative of the North. In the story he really is a Northerner and considered an outsider in Jefferson. Homer doesn't marry Emily traditionally so many of the townspeople are not fond of him. The people do not think he is right for the town and frown upon them whenever they are together. The company he works for is also a symbol for the North. The industrial revolution was started in the North and his sidewalk company is a perfect example of the change trying to be brought into the South. The South contains slaves and rich white men who live on farms whereas the North has rich white men who found oil and steel and live in big cities.

William Faulkner portrayed the unchanging, traditional South through a woman's life in a small town whereas the revolutionary, modern North was portrayed through a man's life. These two people were in a relationship, just as the United States were, and Emily killed Homer just as the South and North had fought during the Civil War. Although the story itself does not mention it's relation to the war, it is a symbol for the war and which side the person would be apart of.


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