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William Faulkner A Rose for Emily

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The story of “A Rose For Emily” written by William Faulkner is riddled with life lessons and metaphors. Emily’s life is symbolic of constant change and the fear of embracing change. William Faulkner A Rose for EmilyHer choice to close herself off from the world is indicative of her fear of embracing what can no longer be changed. Additionally, death is also something she fears as she is not able to deal with her father passing or the thought of her own death being a reality sooner rather than later. She attempts to elude death and exert power over it by denying its inevitability. Emily’s home is symbolic of the past as well. It is old and falling apart, much like Emily herself. The house also represents alienation, mental illness, and death which all parallel Emily’s life as well. Also, the infamous strand of hair found on the pillow is symbolic of love which existed once, but now is lost forever.

Emily creates a world only she is privy to and she has convinced herself to live in a reality which no longer exists. She is out of touch with modern times which is reflected in the upkeep of her home and those who she chooses to surround herself with at all times. Emily tries desperately to cling to the past and how life used to be. Upon her own father’s death, she refuses to give up the body and remains in denial about his passing for years. Due to her choices, the townspeople form opinions about Emily and create their own stories around who she was and now is. She is objectified and spied on as the curiosity of the town’s people increases over time. Emily’s refusal to leave her home other than for a brief stint where she dates a suitor, Homer Barron is short-lived.

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