A Rose for Emily: Gothic Imagery as a Method of Description Essay

608 Words Oct 23rd, 2010 3 Pages
Christopher Gardner
English 68
Professor Brackenhoff
Tues/ Thurs. 4:45 p.m.
A Rose for Emily In Edgar Alan Poe’s, “The Fall of the House of Usher”, Poe states, “Gothic fiction is marked by imagery in settings which create a sense of gloom, mystery, the supernatural, the irrational, and horror.” Likewise, in “Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner, Faulkner uses the main method of gothic imagery to create parallels between Miss Emily’s house, her state of mind, and her personality. The usage of such descriptive language is evident in the very beginning of the story with the description of the façade of Miss Emily’s house. Faulkner states, "But garages and cotton gins had encroached and obliterated even the august names of
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Instead of using the term "frame" to speak of Miss Emily's body the Faulkner uses the term "skeleton." The usage of this word alongside the description "She looked bloated, like a body long submerged in motionless water, and of that pallid hue" (Faulkner) evokes from the reader an image of a corpse that has become pale with decomposition. With this description of Miss Emily Faulkner begins to create the parallels between the physical description of Miss Emily and her house. They both are aging and decrepit and beginning to fall apart around the edges. Faulkner uses gothic imagery as a method of description in "A Rose for Emily" to set an atmosphere of a dark, creepy old house. Throughout the story the reader is given all of the dark details but it is not until the conclusion of the story that the reader can fully use those details. The reader is given the sense of something sinister but does not know why until it is revealed that Homer Barron has been poisoned by Miss Emily and that she has kept his corpse in a room in her house for the past thirty years. Faulkner is successful in his attempt to project the image of the dark and ominous house and of Miss Emily's mind. He makes the reader uncomfortable throughout the story all while keeping the secret of why for the very end of the

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