Essay on 'A Rose for Emily' Point of View Analysis

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A Rose For Emily Diagnostic. The title holds a powerful significance for the story as it represents and foreshadows features of the main character Emily’s life story. A rose is frequently symbolized as love, therefore, maybe the rose can be linked to Emily’s love life or her aspiration for love. Nevertheless, Emily can be identified as a depiction of the thorniness of a rose due to her arrogant appearance and her isolating lifestyle. Additionally, like a thorny rose, she displays deceptiveness as she kills the only person who ever got close to her in Homer. All in all, the title signifies the dangerousness and sad life story of Emily.

The point of view of the story is told in first person, but not the typical first person. It's not told by a particular person, it's told by an unidentified town speaker from where Emily lived, revealing the feelings of the town. It's almost as though the community itself is telling the story. Small towns generally have a collective awareness, this awareness could be seen as the narrator. As the town patron's daughter, Miss Emily, in some form, belongs to the town. She is the focus of attention and examination. Her father thought he belonged to the town, so she did as well. As a consequence, she became part of the town. An indication of this is the description of how Miss Emily stopped coming out of the house. “That was two years after her father's death and a short time after her sweetheart—the one we believed would marry her --had deserted her. After her father's death, she went out very little; after her sweetheart went away, people hardly saw her at all.”(Faulkner 2) The use of “we believed” and “people hardly saw her at all” demonstrates this collective awareness. This POV is important to the story because it produces tension. We don't know exactly what will happen, as we never see the whole illustration.  It is like listening to a meaty story, you realize it will result entertainingly, but you're not exactly sure how.

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Emily is the stereotypical outsider, by staying tucked away, restricting and reducing the exposure of the community to her true identity. She uses her house as a separation from her and the town. “WHEN MISS Emily Grierson died, our whole town went to her funeral mostly out of curiosity to see the inside of her house”(Faulkner 1) as nobody had seen her house due to her defiant personality. Emily implements her understanding of law and conduct in many scenarios, a couple of examples are refusing to pay her taxes and refusing to state her purpose for purchasing the poison. Ultimately, her defiance of the law takes on more dangerous aspects as she murders the man she refused to allow to abandon her. Emily is described as a hero by the author, but at the same time, she is pitied and often annoying, seeking to live life on her terms which leads her down a very dark path.

The author chooses to repeat the words “I have no taxes in Jefferson” because it reveals to the reader that Emily is extremely stubborn and selfish. This implies that Emily is closed-minded and is showing no signs of moving on, specifically moving on from her father's death. As Emily states, 'See Colonel Sartoris, I have no taxes in Jefferson'(Faulkner 2), she is stuck in the past. In the story,  Emily's father was very protective and did not allow her to go out that much. She was left with little or no independence and could not grow independent She became so reliant on her father that she was unable to keep her life going without him. The author explains how for roughly ten years Colonel Sartoris was deceased. This shows that the only life Emily knew was the one when her father did everything for her. She wasn't able to adapt to the change so she now has to pay taxes. The only solution she knew regarding the current issue was to show them out and not deal with it. This is an important part of the story because is the point in which the reader understands that Emily was unable to change because of her father's death.

In the story, the dust is a suitable representation of the fading lives from within. It symbolizes the ancient presence of Emily in the town. When the aldermen come and try to obtain Emily's yearly tax fee, the house smells like  “dust and disuse.” The home seems to be a place of stasis, where mistakes and perceptions stay forever untouched. In a sense, dust very much has a calming presence. The aldermen can not access Emily's blurred connection to reality. The layers of dust further signify the aura of mist that masks Emily's true motives and the mysteries that her house obtains. Specifically at the end of the story, the dust seems to have an oppressive influence, as it emerges from Homer's dead body. Faulkner describes the dust as “patient and biding”, almost as if it has been begging to be cleaned. The dust seems significantly more disturbing here than earlier on in the story.

Excessive levels of isolation may be problematic for people and therefore could contribute to a dramatic downfall in hostile ways. This notion of isolation is very much part of the story. Firstly, Emily is isolated from the outside world by her father and most of society through her higher status, which inevitably leads to her anxiety-imposed isolation. 

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Essay on ‘A Rose for Emily’ Point of View Analysis. (2024, May 16). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 25, 2024, from
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