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The author of the story is known as William Faulkner .The story is about a lady by the name Emily Grierson. She resided in a town called Jefferson. .She her life is mixed up throughout her life .She does not accept the changing rules of the town .According to the story she does not accept the fact that her father passes away She also does not accept that Homer Barron who was her boyfriend does not accept marrying her. The story shows us that some peopleare not able to accept changes. The story is about the main character who does not accept changes in her life and how this leads to death. The series of events is not usual and its written out of order the events are not consequential .The story begins with her death and still it ends with her death .She is dating after her fathers death. .Later he jumps to her being in forty and giving China -Painting lessons. This shows disorder in Emily's life.
Emily has difficulties in adapting to change .She faces a lot of trouble in forgetting the people she loves .Even though her boyfriend does not want to marry her she does not accept the fact. By killing the person she loves she thinks she can hold on to love. She refuses to pay taxes in the town, she hides her dead fathers body and also her boyfriends dead boyfriends body. She kills her boyfriend by poisoning him/Her mind is stuck in the traditional time. According to the author Emily is lost during the time he was writing(Faulkner$ Skei 227-240
Theme also explains Emily like most people in post civic war south cannot accept changes. She exemplifies these people mostly by her willingness to follow the new way of life. She is not accepting change because she refuses to pay her taxes. According to the story, Colonel Sartoris had did nearly 10 years ago. Her father had rented money to the town and as a way of paying him back they decided to pay tax. Since her father had rented them the money she thinks that she is not supposed to pay. later she even demands for more money from the people.
The death of her father is a big problem to her .Even three days after her fathers death she does not accept the reality. She loves her father so much and that is why she does not want to let go. Town people come to bury her father but she has no sign of grieve on her face. She tells them that her father is not dead and that is why she is not mourning. The doctor pleads with her to bury her father but she does not want to loose him. Eventually she brakes down and the father is buried in her absence. Emily slept with the dead body of Homer after poisoning him
Death is another theme in the story. She kills the person she loves Homer by poisoning him. She loves him so much and she wants to be with him. She does not want to accept the fact that he does not want to marry her She obsessive that she can not take it anymore. She did this because she had the desire to sleep with him and according to her this is love. Symbolism is another theme in the story. The Rose symbolises Homer and the fathers love to her. The rose is also a symbol of destruction s in her life. the description of houses and Emilyâ€™s dilapidated old mansion symbolizes change from old to new. The setting of the story is also a theme. It illustrates degradation of the old south. The story is set in the southern town of Jefferson. The decaying emphasizes both Emilyâ€™s decaying life and also destruction of southern morality and life styles. There is also the idea of slavery. The African American characters never speak but then he plays a crucial role in the story. When people ask about what is going on with Emily he never talks about her behaviour. This shows that African Americans are alienated.
Many African American characters did not have names. Others are used as reserves to white characters. Faulkner used African American man to show the relationship the character and Emily which reveals some of the attitudes between blacks and whites before and even after slavery. We learn that blacks are discriminated against by the whites; they are seen as weaker and cannot be equated to them.
Faulkner story's structure is not written in a plot. The story is disorganized as Emilyâ€™s life. We have to accept some consequences in life. The idea of dependence is reinforced when she refuses to leave Homer. One of Emily's traits is that she is dependant. She is used to her house and all its weaknesses and not ready to let anything change even if people around her are encouraging and pushing her to do so. The story encourages people to face reality in life .Where change is needed ii should be accepted (Faulkner 132)The story argus about forgiveness, compassion and understanding .this is through facing the facts of past and present which are inseparable .Isolation is also highlighted .It shows how people are isolated by families, community and tradition. The story is against isolation.
Anderson J. Dennis, Student Companion to William Faulkner, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2007.
Skei H. Hans $ Faulkner, Reading Faulkner's best short stories ,Univ of south Carolina press, 1999.