A Rose For Emily Or Something More

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A Rose For Emily Or Something More Essay, Research Paper a rose for emily or something moreA symbol is a person, object, or event that suggests more than its literal meaning. In the story “A Rose for Emily,” the symbolism shows more about the character than is detailed by the author, William Faulkner. Symbolism helps to indicate several things in the story: how Ms. Emily was once innocent but later changes, how her hair and some other items helped to show her resistance to change, how the room where Homer died shows that she loved Homer and her desire to stop change, how Homer’s name and actions suggest that he is a homosexual, and how she could not get away from her father’s control even after his death. First, Ms. Emily used to white wear dresses, which symbolize

innocence, but she begins wearing black clothes, much like a mourner’s style of dress, after Homer presumably disappears. Emily’s change in appearance shows that she has become soiled in some sense. Ray West further supports this theory. “Emily had not always looked like this. When she was young and part of the world with which she was contemporary, she was, we are told, a slender figure in white,’ as contrasted with her father, who is described as a spraddled silhouette.’ Even after her father’s death,…[She] looked like a girl with a vague resemblance to those angels in colored church windows – sort of tragic and serene.’ The suggestion is that she had already begun her entrance into that nether-world(a world which is depicted later as rose-tinted)”

(149)Another example of Emily’s change is also exhibited in how the house begins to degenerate. At one time the house was white and emaculate, but Emily allows it to become decrepit and dirty. “It was big, squarish frame house that had once been white, decorated with cupolas and spires and scrolled balconies in the heavily lightsome style of the seventies, set on what had once been our most select street. …only Miss Emily’s was left, lifting its stubborn and coquettish decay above the cotton wagons and the gasoline pumps – an eyesore among eyesores.” (Bedford 47)According to Ray West it was shown through the use of the words “stubborn and coquettish” Also he states that the description of the interior illustrates Emily’s decay. “‘They were admitted by the

old Negro into a dim hall from which a stairway mounted into still more shadow. It smelled of dust and disuse – a close, dank smell.’ In the next paragraph a description of Emily discloses her similarity to the house: She looked bloated, like a body long submerged in motionless water, and of that pallid hue.’” (West 149)Another use of symbolism is in the description of Ms. Emily’s hair as she grows older. After her father dies she cuts it short, and the townspeople say it is sort of angelic. This symbolizes her belief that she is finally free of her father’s control over her, because she probably would not get that style of hair cut had her father been there to influence her. Another instance is in her later years her hair becomes iron-gray. The iron in

“iron-gray” symbolizes her stubbornness and strong will, because iron is a very strong element and it is mentioned several times throughout the story. Ray West makes a good point on the letter that she sends to the mayor. ” a note on paper of an archaic shape, in a thin, flowing calligraphy in faded ink,’” (49). This suggests that she never changed her style of writing or the paper on which she used to write. Melinda Schwab states, “Her desire to keep her life from changing is further evidenced by her reluctance to have her father’s body removed and buried and by her refusal to allow street numbers to be attached to the door of her beloved family home,” (215). Next is the use of color to symbolize her love for Homer Barron and her desire to keep things the same.