The main theme openly discussed in “A Rose for Emily” is time. The book’s setting and flow rotates around this unseen force of time. We get to see that the other minor themes strongly correlate to time. The story’s main setting is the Old South. The residents are adjusting and trying to cope with life after the Civil War. Therefore this is a transitional period as the old gives way to the new and the modern way of life where communication is advanced both in the social arena and in technology.
In the process of rebuilding the damage caused during the Civil War, construction contracts had been given out for repairing the pedestrian’s ways. The work began after the demise of Emily’s dad in the summer. The contracted companies came with their machinery and all tools for the building process. They were accompanied with a Yankee big voiced foreman called Homer Barron who went on to become Emily’s boyfriend and lover.
The story presents the inhabitants leaving an old way of life and having a new beginning that is organized. The old regime is represented with the passing away of Emily’s dad and the modern era is represented with the entrance of Emily’s lover, Homer Barron. Emily’s father signifies the end to the Old South and its traditional views towards life, and Homer Barron represents a movement aimed at bringing change and a modern way of living. The inhabitants of the old South readily embrace the change when the renovations begin. Time has left the old ways of life and traditions to the remaining occupants of the ancient world and lead to a new era of doing things.
The death of Emily’s father is a clear symbol of the theme of time as it clearly defines coming to an end of one culture. When Emily accepts Homer Barron, she represents the movement of the town from an old level to a new level, and Homer himself is a direct tool of this change. Unfortunately, Emily does not seem to embrace the wave of change that is wholly accommodated by his town. She kills Homer indicating that she does not subscribe to his new ideas of developing the town. In this killing, she is trying to stop the unstoppable sequence of time where the end result is her own demise. Her collapse shows that no one can stop an idea whose time has come.
In “A Rose for Emily”, Faulkner uses an intent point of view that has a great impact on the readers of the story. In the beginning of the story, he introduces the death of Emily Grierson that wholly invites the reader to the lead character of the story. He creates a clear mood probably for the Old South through the events that unfold in his creative choice of characters and the unique setting through the unidentified narrator.
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In his varying circumstances, the narrator introduces the characters in a detailed manner for the reader to understand the characters better. For instance, Emily Grierson who is the leading character is introduced as one of the remainders of the Old South. The narrator indicates that her presence would make the new folks follow the old ways. When describing Emily’s lover, he comes out quick to show him as a big man of black complexion. In this, the author gives the readers room to interpret the story, criticize where necessary, and make their own decisions where applicable. Through all this, the readers are left in suspense with an urge to read more of the story to better understand the storyline.
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