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Literary elements in “A Rose for Emily” By William Faulkner

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In William Faulkner’s short story “A rose for Emily”, a series of literary elements were used to effectively create the themes. In “A rose for Emily”, the main theme happens to be the search for love and security. Mr. Faulkner’s uses of literary elements were brilliant and played a vital role in the stories general setup, bringing light to the issue that arise when a young woman struggle to find love in an alien environment.

Symbolism is the main factor in understanding of the theme of the story. Mr. Faulkner provides many symbols throughout the story. Foremost is the title “A rose for Emily”. The rose from the title symbolizes the absent love she feels. When a bachelor is in love, he give a rose to the person they love. The title symbolizes the roses and flowers that Emily never received, and the love that escaped her. Another dominant symbol in the story is the house. In the beginning, the house was said to be big, white and beautifully made. Just like Miss Emily When she was young, however as time goes on, the house grow harsh and dirty, just like the personality of Miss Emily. Emily’s life is much like the house, suffers from love and eventually comes crashing down.

Another theme that the author expressed in his work is the theme of isolation. It is presented by the author usage of descriptive words and imagery. Many vivid words were used as the author establishes the main characters in the story. Giving them life and color. Also, one of the most effective elements that the author used in his development of the theme is the uses of imagery. He portrays Homer Barron and Emily’s father as sort of villains who are preventing love. In doing so, the theme of isolation is very evident to the readers.

However, it is the broken time line that the author follows that caught my attention. By placing the denouement at the beginning of the story, it allows the reader to know and understand Ms. Emily better. To see that she is not just another old grumpy lady but a lady who has suffered most of her life at the hand of fate. While the reader read the story and expects the story to be placed in order, the author deliberately changes the time line back and forth to place emphasize the theme that Ms. Emily wants to stayed in the past. Other examples of her wanting to stay in the pass would be she saying her father was not dead, and that she doesn’t want the installation of the mail box.

Theme is a concept that can be related to all stories; it is usually refer to the general idea expressed by a literary work. Such as in this case, “a rose by Emily” the author uses of many literary techniques to create the theme of the story. That may very well be the reason why this story was consider by many to be a literature masterpiece.

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