William Faulkner: A Literary Analysis

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Culture, location, reputation and upbringing are all main contributors to the way someone’s life turns out. For most people, they are given the option to choose their own path in life and their past becomes a positive contributor to who they chose to be. However, for others, the past can prevent the future from happening, it can hold one back from accomplishing their hopes and dreams because they end up stuck in the same routine and traditions that they were taught at a young age. Being stuck in the past can prevent a person from maturing and growing therefore, their life never transpires into their own story. Outsiders are often very judgmental of those stuck in the past, furthering the restrictions that are already present. William Faulkner …show more content…
For instance, the narrator states how: “Alive, Miss Emily had been a tradition, a duty, and a care; a sort of hereditary obligation upon the town” (Faulkner). In the town of Jefferson, the people feel a connection to Emily, no matter how odd she appears, due to the fact that she has been there from generation to generation, never changing any of her ways. The story is told with many flashbacks intertwined in order for the reader to get the full concept of how looming the past is for Emily. In an article written by Laura Getty the idea that the way the flashbacks are addressed are extremely important to the feelings the readers have towards Emily at the conclusion: “What is not under debate, however, is that the chronology deliberately manipulates and delays the reader 's final judgment of Emily Grierson by altering the evidence. In other words, what the chronology does is as important as when the events actually take place” (Getty). Considering the fact that Emily is so traditional and refuses to take part in the changing ways of life: tax agreements and free postal service, she is continuously stuck in the same routine that everyone expects, shielding her from having any kind of real life at all. All of which, force the reader to feel sympathy for Emily, but also a …show more content…
Emily’s father is at the core of how Emily turned out. He taught her nothing about change, only routine and the ways of the traditional Grierson family. The narrator in the story describes the relationship between Emily and her father as such: “We had long thought of them as a tableau, Miss Emily in the foreground, his back to her and clutching a horsewhip, the two of them framed by the back-flung door” (Faulkner). This description shows how Emily was used to being told what to do by her father and it was his way or no way. Emily’s father was the head of the household and he kept Emily locked away inside the house, allowing no male suitors or friends of any kind, therefore structuring her around the idea that all she needed in life was her father. Emily never grew to be her own person because her father had always told her what kind of person to be. Emily never knew how to think for herself so she had to cling to how things were when her father way around, even after he had passed away. This idea explains to the reader exactly why Emily was so stuck in the past, she was never taught to be any other

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