Monday, May 26, 2014

Reader's Diary #1124- William Faulkner: A Rose for Emily

After reading William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily" I found myself somewhat preoccupied with the title. Did I miss the actual rose? 

Perhaps "A Rose for Emily" is just dated, but the "twist" at the end of this tale can be seen a mile away. It's about a woman named Emily, depressed after her father dies and taking a while to accept that he is truly dead, later seems to find solace in a man named Homer who, much to the chagrin of the locals, is below her class. Some distant relatives try to get her to stop seeing the guy, but he's still seen with Emily after they leave until suddenly one day he is seen no more. The locals assume he's moved on to the next town to find work. Shortly after, there's a funky smell permeating from Emily's house and she becomes reclusive.

Gee, a recluse with a funky smell coming from her house and a man that is nowhere to be found? Whatever could that mean?

And wasn't there supposed to be a rose? The word "rose" appears in the story four times; twice as the verb (as in "they rose when she entered") and twice as the colour (as in "curtains of faded rose color"). I wanted to see something poetic in this, that Faulkner called it "A Rose for Emily" but chose different meanings of the word in the story itself, with nary a mention of an actual flower. Was it a way of hinting that there would be a twist or that there were other things happening behind the scenes that we would not be privy to? It turns out that Faulkner merely pitied his own character so much that he felt like giving her a rose.

 Predictability and my disappointment with the title aside, there were some aspects that I enjoyed. I liked that Emily is seen by the town as the one who is so resistant to the idea of change that she was deranged, but the town itself was the ones who judged her for getting involved with a man of a lower class. I like my tragedies with a dose of hypocrisy.

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