Symbolism In A Rose For Emily

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William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily" is a story that addresses the symbolic changes in the South after the civil war. Miss Emily's house symbolizes neglect and poverty of the new times in the town of Jefferson. The rampant symbolism and Faulkner's descriptions of the decaying house, coincide with Miss Emily's physical and emotional decay, and also emphasize her mental degeneration, and further illustrate the outcome of Faulkner's story. Miss Emily's decaying house, not only lacks genuine love and care, but so does she in her adult life, but more so during her childhood. The pertinence of Miss Emily's house in relation to her physical appearance is brought on by constant neglect and under-appreciation. In “A Rose for Emily”, William Faulkner uses symbolism to portray change in the South, decay of Emily’s life, and death.
Emily personified a way of living, a society, that was slowly being dismissed. Examples
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The decay is showing. It was a nice, respectable home at one point in the nineteenth century, but the surrounding neighborhood had changed dramatically by the time that Emily had reached old age. Rather than houses, the neighborhood became a site for sales and manufacturing. The house shows its age. When people enter, they notice that a thick dust coats the interior of the house. And when Homer's body is found, there is heavy decay in the air and on the furniture. This detail is one of the most macabre elements of ''A Rose for Emily.'' Since dust is made in great part from human skin, the home has become coated in dead organic tissue, shut out from air and light. For this reason, we can connect the house to its owner, Emily, who similarly shuts herself off from the world. As the house decays, so too does Emily. She is, figuratively speaking, the living dead. Indeed, Faulkner mentions her ''upright torso motionless as that of an idol,''(Faulkner 454) as if she is a mannequin, or at least dead to the outside

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