"A Rose For Emily"
William Faulkner's "A Rose For Emily" portrays a post-modern culture of the old south.
More specific in this story, images of death are shown by Faulkner's use of symbolism. In this
story, death is symbolic within the past, present and future in the form of the stench, the house,
and the arsenic.
When anything becomes a stench, either rotting or decomposition is present. As many of
the townsfolk observed, a stench arose from Ms. Emily's estate. They then blamed the smell on
the black man that worked for her, claiming that a man couldn't keep a kitchen properly or that it
must be a varmint he killed in the yard. The Aldermen even go as far as sprinkling the yard and
the cellar with lime to suppress the rank odor. The stench presented here is a superb symbol for
the death that has occurred.
Little did the townsfolk suspect, but Ms. Emily had willingly killed her lover. Now with
the aroma of death wafting throughout the air within the house, it can be examined how the house
becomes a disease to all remaining residents. Everything within the house, from the cracked,
leather furniture to the moldy spawning throughout the realm of the house, almost feels as if death
were living between everyone, even in the exact moment. Faulkner symbolized the death that
exists within the present through the description of the house. With the past and present
represented, Faulkner could not dare to leave out the future form.
Faulkner graces his readers with yet another symbol, but this time, however, he adds a
bit of suspense on top of the entire plot. When Emily ventured into town to visit the pharmacist,
death was already on her mind. With the arsenic she...