William Cuthbert Faulkner was born on September 25, 1897 in New Albany, New York. Midway throughout his career Faulkner settled down in Lafayette County, Mississippi where he would write many acclaimed books. But the one that got the most reviews was A Rose for Emily, written in 1959.
A Rose for Emily is a story about a woman, Emily, who dreamt of having her own life and someone to love. The story has a deep connection with the human psyche. Faulkner does a brilliant job of telling the story of a woman, brought up in aristocracy, who tries to find love despite her father's teachings. In a way A Rose for Emily relates to the life of William Faulkner who was born into a family that at one point had wealth and prestige. During the later portions of his life he lived in Lafayette, Mississippi. In A Rose for Emily the story takes place in Jefferson, Mississippi, which makes for a very strong clash of views.
To show the strong symbolism of the North and South Faulkner uses Miss Emily as a character representing the South while using her newfound love, Homer Baron, to represent the north. One could also say that the new generation of citizens in Jefferson County, with their contemporary ideas, is a representation of the North. But besides using symbolism to represent the North and South Faulkner used symbolism to represent good and evil. In the story Emily was torn between following the noble teachings of her father, which would not have her marry anybody out of her class, or following her heart. Overall she does end up marrying her lover. The conflict of good and evil arises when Miss Emily sees the only way of keeping her lover forever is to kill him, but yet she knows that murder is wrong and it is also wrong in the law of God.
Much of A Rose for Emily deals with the power of love. But Faulkner also incorporates the conflict of man against himself, one that Faulkner dealt with himself throughout his life. At one point he was overwhelmed with emotion at the death of his mother that he almost stopped writing. In the case of Emily, she had aspirations of finding love and a husband but struggled to achieve her dreams because of repressed feelings held deep within her. What Emily wanted is what all human beings want. She wanted to love in her life but couldn't bring herself beyond the injustice of her father.
Throughout his life William Faulkner has wrote timeless classics and brought a new meaning to literature. A Rose for Emily is just one of his many stories that shows the conflict of the human heart.