William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily"

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William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily"

Critics may say a romantic story cannot realistically illustrate the evolving South. William Faulkner proves this wrong in his short story, "A Rose for Emily." Through heavy use of symbolism, Faulkner uses a deranged woman's life as a literary ploy. "A Rose for Emily" is one of William Faulkner's best constructed representations of the relationship between the past and present in the South.

William Faulkner was born in New Albany, Mississippi, on September 25, 1897. He was actually given the name William Falkner but added the "u" later. His father worked on railroads owned by his grandfather. Faulkner's great-grandfather, William C. Falkner had originally purchased the railroad. As an important historical figure, he greatly influenced William Faulkner's writing. William C. Faulkner arrived in Mississippi as a poor youth, but he managed to become a plantation owner, railroad builder, author, and even the colonel of the Second Mississippi Regiment.

In 1902 Faulkner's grandfather sold the railroads and the family was forced to begin again in Oxford (Unger 524,525). The Faulkner family bought a large, aged house in the midst of town square. The constant flow of people allowed Faulkner to observe the variety of personalities the South had to offer (Moss 41). In the same year of their arrival, William Faulkner's grandmother moved in with the family. Her unwavering standards opposing alcohol and profanity were significant in Faulkner's upbringing.

He dropped out of high school in the tenth grade and began working for his grandfather at the bank. Faulkner had wanted to join the military, but because of height requirements, he was unable. Faulkner was determined and through a faked British accent and forged letter of recommendation, he was accepted into the Royal Canadian Air Force. Though he trained, he never saw combat. After World...