A Rose For Emily: Symbolism
3 Pages 798 Words
In William Faulkner's short story "A Rose for Emily," Emily is in the search for love and security. The use of symbolism develops the theme of the story, bringing to light the issues of morality that arise from a young woman's struggle to find love. Symbolism is so carefully placed throughout this story through flashbacks, the comparison of a flower to Emily’s life, and developing the title, “A Rose for Emily”.
The story progresses through flashbacks, and Emily is heard speaking to the gentlemen representing the Board of Aldermen, and it is noticed that she is wearing a thin gold watch chain. It is not until a lull takes place after the spokesman announces the purpose of their visit, that they then,"... could hear the invisible watch ticking at the end of the gold chain". The watch is tucked into Emily's belt, and symbolically foreshadows a particular characteristic of hers to be learned at the end of the story. The hidden watch seems to suggest that Emily has a need to hide the effects of time, and a stronger one to control it. Time has taken all the things she has longed for in life. When her father dies, she gains the ultimate control in determining her destiny, and Emily is given a freedom never before experienced under her father's guidance. The image when Emily’s father was alive, of him clenching his horsewhip symbolized his power and strict hand. Emily keeping the corpses also symbolized how she didn’t want to except any changes, such as taxes.
The most important symbol within the story is that of the flower and how its short life sees a bud, a blossom, and decomposition. Emily herself was like a flower, colorful and vibrant in her youth. She became a flower her father intended to keep long beyond its short life cycle. She would blossom, but never see the potential of an unadulterated life. Faulkner creates this image in the story when Emily takes on students for painting. This is Emily's last ...
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