For students and teenagers, literature can be a form of education and it teaches the younger generation many lessons about adapting to change. A Rose for Emily is a short story by William Faulkner, which was first published back in 1930. It takes place in a fictional city in Mississippi and was the author’s first short story, which was published in The Forum. Today we are going to discover this story and the social issues and discussion points presented within the text.
Our world is constantly changing, and for students at college or university, where they are continually being set new study tasks and essays, they will be pushed out of their comfort zone regularly. If you are ever struggling or feeling overwhelmed with work or writing, remember to stay calm and reach out for help. It’s completely possible to receive help without risking plagiarism and will save you so much time and stress. If you are writing essays or research papers, you’ll find great help online, including sites such as paperap. While A Rose for Emily dates back to the 1930s, its themes and characters are extremely relevant to our current time, and it makes a good basis for examples in a future essay or paper.
The character of Emily Grierson
The character of Emily has had her life controlled by her father, who stops her from seeing potential suitors and completely controls her social life. She is kept in isolation until his death, at which point she is thirty years old. The plot of the story centers around her struggles, particularly with attachment and loss. This results in her killing Homer Barron, and her attachment issues are very clear from this incident, as she believes it’s the only way for Homer to truly be hers alone.
It is clear from Emily’s actions and mental state that she is unable to adapt to new challenges and changes in her life. This is unsurprising, considering her sheltered upbringing, but demonstrates to young readers the importance of resilience and the ability to constantly adapt. Even after the death of her husband, she is shown to keep his clothes around the room, and a strand of her hair is even found by his corpse at the end of the story. It’s clear from these incidents that her coping mechanisms are extremely unhealthy, and her life appears to be frozen in time.
Tradition and Change
Emily has such a strong resistance to change, and her character is the most prominent demonstration of this, however, her father also suffered from the same issues. Faulkner demonstrates to the audience the struggles that a place like Jefferson can face, trying to balance its past and history with the potential of a more commercialized future. Individuals like Emily remain unphased by the changes occurring around them, sticking to her own ways and ideas of life and cutting herself off from the world.
Emily is the type of character that could easily be shown in any time period, as while she is stuck in the past, some elements of her world are timeless. However, Emily appears quite out of touch with reality, which is often a side effect for those who are unable to adapt to change. In order to keep up with our modern world, we need to be adaptable and accepting of change, whether we believe it is in our best interest or not.
A Rose for Emily can teach younger generations about the issues that were faced in the past and how so many of them can still relate to our lives today. By analyzing the characters of Emily and her father, we can see the inherent risks of not accepting changes in the various ways they are presented in the story. By noticing the negative character traits described by writers in their characters and writing, we can start avoiding these issues and reactions in our own lives moving forward.