A rose for emily theme

A rose for emily theme

In the narration “A Rose for Emily,” author William Faulkner depicted the life of a pretty woman who had faced many difficulties in her life. Emily had a lot of difficulties adjusting to her new life. Emily Grierson, a pretty girl who stayed with her father, is the novel’s protagonist. Based on his actions, Emily’s father was an arrogant guy who believed he had a higher social rank and was preferable to others in town. Faulkner, W (1958). Emily, on the other hand, had comparable considerations. Emily’s existence swirled around her father because she had only lived with him.

Her father’s untimely death devastated her optimistic outlook and propelled her into isolation. Although her father’s death saddened the village residents, they were intrigued by Emily’s way of life and kept a close eye on her. Faulkner, W (1958). Unfortunately, Emily fell in love with a newcomer to town, Homer Borron, who refused to tie her knot. On the other hand, Emily created a plan to deal with such a situation: poisoning and holding Homer Borron’s body for thirty years. When she died, her body was recovered in her home. Although the novel depicted Emily as a headstrong lady who lived her own life and coped with problems in her manner, William Faulkner employed themes such as tradition vs. change, sexual and gender stereotypes, and the impact of mortality to depict Emily’s struggles. With time, change is unavoidable.

Although there is usually a necessity for change, opposition frequently obstructs its implementation. The author depicted Emily’s attempt to maintain tradition when the community was undergoing significant change in her novel. The narrator argued that the town of Jefferson was at a fork in the road, torn between embracing technology and a highly urbanized future or sticking to its old ways. Emily is portrayed as a traditionalist who is resistant to change. Emily refused to have metal numbers installed in her house to get modern mail services, and she refused to recognize that the transformations in town would eventually catch up with her tightly walled boundaries. The antebellum residences were effectively replaced with workshops and textile bourbons when the alterations happened.

Death’s power is a theme that has been explored extensively throughout the novel. The author alluded to Emily’s death from the start of the novel, comparing her murder life to shifts in conventional ideas due to rising modern changes. When Emily tried to implement diversity in all of the scenarios offered, death triumphed. This approach suggests she had already perished inside from the outside world. Refusing to change and being isolated from others leads to sadness and anxiety, which leads to a gradual death. Emily is described as a drowning woman and a pale and swollen body that has been left in the water for a long time in the story: “…She appeared distended, like a body long immersed in unmoving waters, and of that insipid hue…” (Page 2)

In summary, William Faulkner depicted people’s resistance to change through themes such as tradition vs. change, sensuality and gender stereotypes, and the impact of death. Emily Grierson, the main character in the story, fought several changes, including reintegrating following her father’s death and a failed marriage. She adhered to her former experiences and traditional values, even though modernism was creeping in. Emily chose to isolate herself from the ranks of society rather than embrace the change. Humanity needs the variation that comes with the periods and times. Otherwise, their life will become monotonous and meaningless. Overall, Emily cherished her customs and beliefs while ignoring the changes brought about by modernity, prompting her to cling even more to his father’s and Homer’s bodies.


Faulkner, W., Carradine, J., & Huston, A. (1958). A rose for Emily (pp. 170-179). Paderborn, De: Verlag F. Schöningh.


A Rose for Emily analysis essay