Theme Of Death In A Rose For Emily

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William Faulkner once said, “Given a choice between grief and nothing, I 'd choose grief” (Brainyquote). He further explains why he’d do this in “A Rose for Emily”; although the story is not about him, he details the loneliness and selfishness of a poor woman, Miss Emily. Miss Emily is unable to grip the idea of death and suffers great deals of denial. After the death of her father, the townspeople expected her to be in a state of grief but alas she is not. Instead she proceeds to say that her father is very well with her, alive. William Faulkner’s idea of grieving is clear in this story because he shows his audience that it is better to accept death than to ignore it through the accounts of Miss Emily’s journey. William Faulkner’s story takes …show more content…
By using reader response criticism, a reader can analyze “A Rose for Emily” through the aspects of the secret held within the story, race found through anthropology, and gender found through anthropology.
To begin with, one can analyze “A Rose for Emily” by examining the underlying hidden message found within the story. The hidden message that William Faulkner tried to convey in his story was the themes of death and change. Death looms through the story from the beginning right on through to the end as the narrator begins describing the beginning of Miss Emily’s funeral. Miss Emily herself chooses not to accept the fate of death when her extremely controlling father passes away. “Miss Emily met them at the door, dressed` as usual and with no trace of grief on her face. She told them that her father was not dead” (Faulkner). This quote from A Rose for Emily clearly shows how Miss Emily tried to defy death by holding on to her father’s corpse and
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The South was once known for its extreme prejudice and racism. William Faulkner’s attempts to convey this racism is made clear in “A Rose for Emily”. “They were admitted by the old Negro into a dim hall from which a stairway mounted into still more shadow” (Faulkner). This use of the derogatory term “negro” clearly shows the author’s intentions. Mr. Faulkner truly conveys the experience of the African American in the time period that this story was written because he is able to show how stripped of their identities they were. By using the terms “negro” or “nigger” to describe African Americans, people were stripping them of their human qualities. This was so severe that in some cases African Americans became “property” to some, which Mr. Faulkner was able to convey. Mr. Faulkner’s use of these derogatory terms also helps to explain the prejudices suffered by African Americans in the South. “Alive, Miss Emily had been a tradition, a duty, and a care; a sort of hereditary obligation upon the town, dating from that day in 1894 when Colonel Sartoris, the mayor –he who fathered the edict that no Negro woman should appear on the streets without an apron-remitted her taxes, the dispensation dating from the death of her father on into perpetuity” (Faulkner). One can clearly see that Colonel Sartoris’s intentions were to enforce rules in which African Americans were to be seen as workers, not

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