Death And Dualism In William Faulkner's A Rose For Emily

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This essay will look primarily at William Faulkner’s ‘A Rose for Emily’ and through that, argue how the atmosphere of the environment Faulkner was raised in, has directly influenced his work, not only through its central plot themes of death and decay but also through the setting and environment of the story. The environment he was raised in, glorified the past and alienated people from the present. Faulkner however rejected those views and through his short story “A Rose for Emily” attacked this glooming mindset. Despite Faulkner’s claims that “his books and he were different, even at odds” (1982:1), a close reading of ‘A Rose for Emily’ combined with an understanding of the author’s early life in the South of the United States, can reveal how much of him can be seen in his work. Faulkner suggested several times a sort of dualism in his mind between the “William Faulkner of Oxford” (1982:609) referring to the author’s limited public profile and “the "secret" Faulkner” (1982:608) …show more content…
At the time the story was published (1930), women were seen and classified based on their roles rather than any individual qualities they carried. A woman’s reputation was based on how well she exercised her role of daughter, wife and/or mother. Emily’s father, whose first name is left untold in the story, was very protective of her and made it very difficult for her to get married and consequently have children. After his death, the town feels pity towards Emily, so much so, that she becomes exempt from paying taxes. Once her father was dead she failed to achieve any of her social obligations as a woman in 1930’s Mississippi. Emily however denied the claims that her father was dead and kept his dead body inside a locked room in her house. Emily clings to her father’s dead body and refuses to accept he is gone, this is directly related to the idea of glorification of the

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