A Rose for Emily

Essay by sdyeeeB+, July 2014

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, 2012

A Rose for Emily

Without any background information, the title of "A Rose for Emily" immediately invokes the image of a beautiful love story between Emily and a man. However, such a promising first impression cannot have been more inaccurate because "A Rose for Emily" is far from a romantic novel as the title suggests. Such a contrast between the title and the actual plot of the novel is one of the important elements of Gothic literature because it makes readers feel horror atmosphere different with title. The novel is comprised of dark, gloomy, and even horrid description of the fallen world, which includes a detailed depiction of a villain's life. William Faulkner, the author of "A Rose for Emily", attempts to share a story which incites fear and excitement in the innermost human emotions, and he forces readers to engage in a deep introspection of ourselves and our society.

"A Rose for Emily" is called a Southern gothic story, which contains a number of Gothic elements in many different parts of the novel. Among a variety of Gothic elements, it is most conspicuous that "A Rose for Emily" especially focuses on the protagonist "Emily" in order to illustrate many different aspects of Gothic literature. Her life story itself is a very typical Gothic description of a world falling apart. From a normal girl, she becomes a rather reclusive, mysterious, and pitied woman whose life is a symbolic deterioration in and of itself. As her father passes away, her deterioration starts, and her mental stability and sanity disappears as well. She has had suitors in the past, but now she only lives with her servant and no one has visited her for decades. Towards the...