Symbolism In A Rose For Emily

Symbolism In A Rose For Emily

In “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner symbolism is utilized throughout the entire story. A sign “in literature [is], a person, place, or thing that recommends more than its actual meaning” (Kennedy 223). William Faulkner utilized significance constantly in a number of his stories, so he was extremely acquainted with creating symbols and giving them significances that the desired the readers to comprehend. There is a primary sign and then there are some signs that are still important to the story, despite the fact that they are not the main symbols.

Importance Of A Rose

Without these smaller sized symbols this story would not have the same significance. 2 essential signs that stuck out to me are the rose and “the long hair of iron-gray hair” (Faulkner 35). In real life a rose represents love (or often, even “I am sorry”), however in this story the rose represents Miss Emily’s love for Homer Barron and that she would do anything to be with him for the rest of her life. While reading “A Rose for Emily,” I encountered many signs. The 2 symbols that protruded to me the most were the rose and Miss Emily’s hair. The first symbol is encountered when reading the title, “A Rose for Emily. The rose symbolizes love, the love Miss Emily has for Homer Barron. Another symbol that really made an impression on me was Miss Emily’s “long strand of iron-gray hair,” (Faulkner 35) which represents time. The storyteller states: “Already we knew that there was one room in the area above stairs which no one had actually seen in forty years, and which would need to be required” (Faulkner 35). If this space had not been seen in forty years and had to be required open, how is it possible for a gray hair of hair to be on a pillow next to Homer Barron’s body, when Miss Emily’s hair was not gray forty years prior to that?

When the narrator stated, “Which was the last we saw of Homer Barron” (Faulkner 34), it ended up being really clear what the symbol of the rose indicated. Without this statement or with no statement about when Homer Barron was last seen, the significance of the rose would not have actually been clear at all. In order to understand the specific significance of the rose you need to know that she did something to Homer Barron. The discussion Miss Emily and the druggist had, showed that she depended on something that was incorrect, something larger than just killing an ordinary rat (Faulkner 33).

Rose Significance In Literature

Miss Emily was extremely cautious in the conversation to not state anything about what she was really planning on utilizing the arsenic for. Everyone believed she was going to kill herself, when in truth, she was going to murder Homer Barron (Faulkner 33). The murder, or what the reader presumes to be the murder, suggests the bigger significance of the symbol, that Miss Emily would do anything to invest the rest of her life with her “increased,” which is Homer Barron (Faulkner 34). She loved him and was willing to do anything to be able to spend every day of the rest of her life with him.

The only time it appeared her front door was opened, was when the Negro man went to and from the marketplace (Faulkner 34). It seemed that Homer Barron did not wish to be around Miss Emily’s cousins. After all, he did leave when Miss Emily’s cousin were there he left and after they left, he was back a week later on (Faulkner 34). I believed Miss Emily recognized that Homer did not want to be around her household, so in order to make certain that he never left her, she murdered him. The increased just seems to constantly protrude throughout the story as Homer Barron.

Back to the concern of how Miss Emily’s gray hair could potentially be on the pillow next to Homer Barron’s body, if that room had actually not been open in forty years. It is quite difficult to answer, since that would be practically impossible, unless the narrator is leaving one crucial part out. What if, by nobody the narrator implied every other than for Miss Emily? What if, Miss Emily had been up there once considering that her hair turned gray? Maybe the storyteller does not know everything. The only way that Miss Emily’s gray hair could be on that pillow was if she was laying there around the time her hair turned completely gray.

William Faulkner loves to use symbolism in all of his stories, in “A Rose for Emily,” he begins using it from the title and right up till the last few words of the story. Significance is an outstanding way to assist the reader comprehend specific parts of a story. William Faulkner understands this. If this story was title “Miss Emily’s Love” or something like that the symbolism and the strength of her love would not be as noticeable. As soon as an individual starts to read this story, the rose becomes apparent in its meaning. The rose is the biggest sign in this story.

For many individuals a rose symbolizes “I love you.” Well, in this case it still symbolizes that, simply to the extreme. Miss Emily is willing to do anything, and by anything, I really do indicate anything, to keep Homer Barron around for the rest of her life.

Works Mentioned

Faulkner, William. “A Rose for Emily.” Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing.

Ed. X. J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. New York City: Longman, 2010. 29-35. Print.

Kennedy X. J. and Dana Gioia. Literature: An Introdudction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Composing. New York City: Longman, 2010. 223. Print.

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