"A Rose for Emily": A Preservation of the Past

Essay by smartypinoy06College, UndergraduateA+, March 2006

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In "A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner, the candidly repugnant yet deceptive tones convey an ambiguous façade that Emily and the aristocratic South possess with their persistent preservation of the idealistic, but unreasonable lifestyle with the use of diction, detail and syntax.

Faulkner's use of diction illustrates the obsession that Emily has for the romantic life that she imagines in an attempt to hyperbolize the desperate restoration of the dilapidated South. The "encroached", "fallen monument", Emily, was never actually given a "rose", as the title implies. The trespassing of the present time obliterates the once romantic life of the high social class of the South. The obsession with delusions of grandeur acts as a façade that Emily can hide behind, away from the reality of the present time. The "violence" near the end of the story strips Emily of her sanctity, but proves "impervious" and "perverse" in her acts.

In order to heighten the stress, the fervor of the forceful breaking into the attic is the obliteration of Emily's tranquility and ultimate façade. Her impenetrable and one - track minded personality mirrors that of the persistence of the South by purposely deviating from the social norm since it is her only way of controlling life in order to make it as idealistic as possible. Faulkner lets Emily hide behind a façade much like he hides behind the façade of the narrator assumed author all through out the story.

The detail exemplifies the pretense that the narrator conveys about the abhorrent and illusory realization of Emily in order to epitomize the façade that the author must adhere to in order to keep the mysterious atmosphere of the story. "The people began to feel sorry for her" then offers her condolence since it "is [their] custom". Faulkner lets...