"A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner is a masterpiece that reflects the contrast between modernity and traditions, the rural life and the town life. The author uses various stylistic approaches to make the story fantastic. For instance, the character of Emily Grierson as protagonist allegorizes the transformations witnessed. In South town of Jefferson in the aftermath of the civil war. The story manifests the process of change and how people react to it.
Ms. Emily Grierson epitomizes conservativeness as she remains to strictly adhere to her tradition, customs and values despite the ongoing transition in the entire town. For instance "Alive, Miss Emily had been a tradition, a duty, and a care; a sort of hereditary obligation upon the town" (Faulkner 1). This statement shows how firm a character can hold onto the traditions oblivious to the impact of change. Through the eyes of Emily, "A Rose for Emily" shows the struggles that people undergo when they insist on maintaining the tradition in the advent of a sweeping change. In the book, the character of Emily symbolizes tradition as she stays unchanged over the years even as the whole community experiences overreaching changes (Perry 214). She manifests the traditional way of life that people would respect and honor but still she comes out as a burden to change as well as a figure that is completely detached from the outside world. The book shows the aloofness that comes with the resistance to change. For instance, whereas everyone in the town has embraced the modern mail service, Emily refuses to affix a metallic number on the side of the house, a fact which makes her completely disconnected from her world. The author shows how resistance to change and its consequences such as a feeling of alienation can affect an individual's life as demonstrated that "After her father's death she went out very little; after her sweetheart went away, people hardly saw her at all. (Faulkner 2.1). This shows how of Emily's life was affected by her resistance to change leading to cognitive developmental problems.
While the story underscores the pervasiveness of change, it also acknowledges how an entrenched tradition can still manifest even among the people who embrace modernity. For instance, Jefferson is seen to have accepted the modern things but he still highly regards the traditional ideals of reputation and honor. Ideally, the author even shows how the old men still wear their Confederate uniforms at Emily's funeral. In underscoring the enrichment of the past, the author succeeds in showing that the past cannot be overly obsoleted even in the advent of a change (Perry 156).
Faulkner, William. A Rose for Emily and Other Stories. S.I.: Random House Publishing Group, 2012. Internet resource.
Perry, Menakhem. "Literary Dynamics: How the Order of a Text Creates Its Meanings [With an Analysis of Faulkner's" A Rose for Emily"]." Poetics today 1.1/2 (1979): 35-361.
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