The Theme Of Isolation In A Rose For Emily By William Faulkner

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“We are all so much together, but we are all dying of loneliness.” This quote from Albert Schweitzer represents the isolation prevalent in virtually every community on the planet. No matter how unified a society may appear each individual member is still alone and isolated in their own minds’. In fact, this isolation is also emphasized in the community in William Faulkner’s short story, “A Rose for Emily”. This literary work of art takes the reader into a town that appears to be united as one, but there is a single outlier that everyone finds to be mysterious. The outlier is a woman named Emily Grierson, and she lives in an old house with her servant who takes care of her. Raised in seclusion by an overbearing father, Emily learns to live in …show more content…
This is first noticed when the narrator tells of the time that Miss Emily refused to pay her taxes, he says, “They called a special meeting of the Board of Aldermen. A deputation waited upon her, knocked at the door through which no visitor had passed since she ceased giving china-painting lessons eight or ten years earlier” (517). This quote is the beginning of a flashback and sets the stage for the reader to see just how isolated Miss Emily is from the town. After having no visitors pass through her door for eight or ten years, it is clear that she wants nothing to do with anyone from outside of her home. Another flashback occurs when the narrator introduces the instance in which there was a putrid stench surrounding Miss Emily’s house, “So she vanquished them, horse and foot, just as she had vanquished their fathers thirty years before about the smell” (517). This fragment from the story takes the reader on a trip back in time in which Miss Emily vanquished the men snooping around her home in search of the source of a foul odor. She stood in the window watching them as a reminder she wanted to remain alone and isolated, and that the smell was none of their business. A final flashback occurs when the narrator reminisces about the time Miss Emily virtually disappeared from the town, “And that was the last we saw of Homer Barron. And Miss Emily for some time” (520). This quote introduces a period of time in which Miss Emily vanished from the town and remained isolated in her home until her inevitable, lonely death. She withdrew into her home in which she spent countless nights sleeping next to the decaying body of her only lover, Homer Barron. All in all, the flashbacks employed by Faulkner in this story immensely contributed to the central theme of

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