Literature Sample Essay on A Rose for Emily

A Rose for Emily


Over the years, the people’s lifestyles are changing following the introduction of technology and other societal aspects. For instance, people can use internet to send emails unlike the older times when people used to send letters. This indicates the radical change that occurred in the society and more changes are expected to occur. In addition, the radical changes comprises of significant cultural changes including modes of dressing and other aspects. In “A Rose for Emily,” Emily had to adopt new cultures different from the traditional beliefs by staying with Homer without getting married. Homer was well aware of the societal changes. This represents the radical changes and transformation in the society by Homer. However, I had to change my perceptions and attitude towards the use of internet in the society. This led to a transformation of my behaviors using the new technologies. For instance, I was able to make new friends. Therefore, the paper will develop the aspects of radical change that occur in the society relating my personal experience.

Traditional Motif of Disillusionment

The traditional motif of the story can be termed as disillusionment. From the different characters including Emily and Homer, the story discusses about the failures of the character to follow the outline traditional in the society. In an instance, Emily was seen interacting with Homer who was an outsider and stranger to the traditional values and cultures. Such instances indicated the traditional motifs of disillusionment depicted in the entire story. Both Emily and the other people felt disillusioned due to their feelings towards certain issues and actions by people. Emily was disillusioned by the fact that people would let her live her own life. People were always questioning her actions and ways. On the other hand, the people in the society were disillusioned by the actions of Emily that were against the acceptable traditional norms. For example, the behavior of Emily and Homer dating without any marriage discussions underway was unacceptable and immoral in the society. Thus, the narrator describes Emily as a fallen woman due to the perception she had created around the society. During the historical period, a fallen woman was accused of doing sex before marriage.

At some point of the story, Emily decides to buy arsenic to commit suicide. When she went to the pharmacy, Emily deceived the pharmacist that she was going to kill some rats. This was ironical and a disillusionment of her intentions to kill herself. Most of the people in town thought that Emily was going to use the arsenic to kill herself, but many days passed by while Emily was alive and very healthy. The act of not killing herself after some frustrations in life was unexpected and disillusioned. During such period in history, people used to kill themselves when they faced hardships in life. Emily was strong enough not to use the arsenic for killing herself. Even though Emily later dies, the fact that she was in control of her life was alarming to many people.

 In the society, Emily had regarded herself to belong to the high class. However, the casual relationship she had with Homer created a controversy of her ability to stand firm. This contrasted her own beliefs of dating people from a higher societal standing. In spite of Homer stating publicly that he is not a marrying man, Emily seems not to be concerned about the issue and continue her affair with him. This leads to the disillusionment of the societal values and traditions for many dating couples. The different events in the society help to support the traditional motif of disillusionment in the society.

Literal Theme:  Radical Change in the Society

The literal theme of the story focuses on evaluating the change of traditions and values in the society. Events in “A rose for Family” are fully focused on explaining the radical change in the society. Using Emily Grierson as an influential figure, Faulkner is able to illustrate his story about the struggle faced during the maintenance of traditions amidst the radical change. In addition, Jefferson can be seen to be in a dilemma over whether to embrace the modern values that include becoming modern or remaining conservative on the local traditions. During the period, Jefferson was at the rural home that displayed faded growth and development.

            Still on the literal theme of traditional changes in the society, Emily represents traditions of the society herself. Emily is seen to be staying at the same level over many years in spite of the changes in the values and beliefs in the community. The author often described Emily as indecisive. Emily was able to reveal the past traditions in the society through her beliefs and actions. For instance, Emily is seen as a monument that represents the traditions people would acknowledge as respectful and honorable. However, the traditions are a hindrance to the growth and improvement of values of the society. Such traditions as followed by Emily would hinder the interactions with the outside world. At some point, it can be noted that the society had been affected by civil wars. This illustrates that the story discusses more on the traditional setting and the anticipated radical change in the society.

 Considering the radical change predicted in the society, there are efforts that can be reported towards the efforts. For instance, the authorities had started fixing metallic numbers in homes for the installation of the modern mail services. This indicated the trend of modern aspects that would change the current situation of the society. However, the changes faced serious opposition from the conservative people who were unwilling to accommodate the anticipated changes. For example, Emily refused the metallic numbers for installing the new mail service to be fixed on her house. Jefferson was a strong supporter of radical change in the society. Nevertheless, it can be seen that he highly regarded the traditional values and beliefs from the funeral of Emily where he respected the old men dressed in Confederate uniforms. Therefore, the story focuses on the changes of traditional values and beliefs experienced in the society.