A Rose for Emily: the Characteristic of Miss Emily
Emily’s “Rose” The characteristic of Miss Emily’s house isa symbol for her appearance as she starts aging and deteriorating with time and neglect. “It was a big, squarish frame house that had once been white…” Then it became an “eyesore among eyesores”. Miss Emily changed the same ways as her house did and she too became an eyesore. She had once been “a slender figure in white” and later she becomes “bloated, like a body long submerged in motionless water with eyes lost in the fatty ridges of her face”.
During Miss Emily’s death she had been referred to as a “fallen monument”, which could mean she was once something beautiful and prosperous but with time she grew old and poor. These same changes from prosperity to poverty occurred in the South after the Civil War. (Faulkner 521-527) The mailbox is another symbol that leadsyou to believe Miss Emily is still living in her post bellum era when she was in her prime with her father. The mailbox is Emily’s refusal to move forward, it is a visual representation of the communication she has severed, for her time stands still.
She will not allow the town to put a house number on her home for the free postal service. She also tells the tax collectors to talk to Colonel Sartoris (who has been dead for ten years) to resolve her problem that she doesn’t pay taxes. This shows Miss Emily’s, maybe even shows the South’s neglect of time and desire to live in the past. (SparkNotes Editors) The symbolism for the “rose” which in my opinion is the most intriguing symbol throughout the whole story is actually the symbol for the ending that includes Emily murdering her “sweetheart that went away”.
Homer is Emily’s rose, roses are often acquainted with love, seeing that the rose was preserved we can take it to mean that Emily wanted to preserve the rose and thus also mean she would like to preserve her love. The “rose for Emily” was the room where she neatly placed the body of Homer Barron (her sweetheart), or possibly just Homer himself. The room was described as having “rose-shaded lights” and the curtains giving off a “faded rose color”.
Knowing from having a girlfriend, many women like to dry out their roses in order to keep them forever, maybe in Emily’s distorted mind she wanted to keep Homer forever. (SparkNotes Editors) Faulkner uses crafty symbolism for the sake of the story itself, and also takes it a step further by using the changes of Emily Grierson as a symbol for the changes in the post-bellum south. Creatively Faulkner uses the unordered chronology to set the stage of the fallen south, which just wants to keep holding on the past when it reigned. Work Cited