A Rose for Emily Essay Themes and Thesis Statements

A Rose of Emily is a story written by William Faulkner and published in 1930. It tells readers about strange circumstances that surround the life of Emily and her relationships with her lover, father, and a horrible mystery involved in it. The main setting is in Jefferson and its plot reveals such important themes as:

  • Resentment;
  • Bitterness;
  • Disillusionment;
  • Generation gaps;
  • Suppressed and forbidden love.

To write A Rose for Emily essay, read this story because it helps you understand a human psyche better. The author touches different matters related to the dark aspects of a human life.

A Story of a Woman Who Killed Her Lover

A Rose for Emily written by Faulkner tells the audience how a spinster hoards the body of Emily’s killed lover. This story is all about the murder resulted by a possessive love, thus showing the face of death resulted by compassion and repulsion. This woman not only killed her lover, but she also decided to keep his dead body in her own house. This is how she punishes him by an eternal life with her. The author also shows how death reveals different human mysteries and secrets while changing indifference into sympathy. Emily gives her personality and freedom in the end.

The Main Concept of This Story

A Rose for Emily is a psychopathological story of one woman who killed her lover and keeps his decaying body beside her. This book is trivial in its horror that keeps titillating readers worldwide. Emily is described as conscious woman who has her independence of spirit and freedom of decision. She perceived the world in personalized rules, and her behavior proves remarkable and impressive aspects of her personality, while all of her actions are based on value decisions.

The main concept of this plot is that if people resist changes, they must love and live with death, so no one should either fully accept or resist changes. The figure of Emily is quite controversial, and the whole story makes readers create an aura of elevated meanings around her to perceive a symbolic and impressive figure. While reading this book, you can feel pressure in many ways of perceiving this character, but Emily definitely committed her pathological murder. She treats the corpse of a dead lover as if he is still alive, and the author introduces the image of a woman whose contacts with the reality are insufficient. So, her borderline between fantasies and the real world is blurred.

Her Struggle with a Generation and Traditions

When writing A Rose for Emily essay, don’t forget about the struggle of the main character with her life, generation, and Old South traditions. The language used by Faulkner predicts and created the climax of the entire story, and his word choice is quite descriptive. This narrative starts with death and leads to the decease of a woman and past traditions personified by her. This story is a multi-layered masterpiece because the author uses the following important elements:

  • Sober commentaries;
  • Chronology;
  • Language;
  • A psychological narrative;
  • Characterization.

First, readers find out that Emily is dead, and then they understand that her whole life is influenced by the deaths of her close people, her lover and father.

The Narrative Sequence of This Story

When it comes to the narrative sequence of this book, it’s not chronological because all readers learn the story of Emily in the same way as all newcomers to Jefferson may hear about it. The author relates different incidents and events in her life thematically, not chronologically. He builds more suspense by imitating the style of southern storytellers when describing events and people via specific situation-triggered memories. That’s why the plot is associative instead of being chronological.

Minor and Primary Themes in This Book

The primary theme of A Rose for Emily is the destructive effects of time, decay, and changes, which are enemies of Emily. She chooses to refuse to acknowledge them, whether they concern tax bills, her father’s death, or anything else. Moreover, her attitude to the death of her father foreshadows her attitude to the death of her lover. Her character is associated with passing time so that some readers may think that she lives outside normal time limits or doesn’t exist at all. She seems to combine death and live in her personality.

A Minor Theme of A Rose for Emily

It’s all about a social structure of American South in the early 20th century and how this region was eroded by industrialized New South. For example, to avoid seeming to give Emily any charity, Jefferson families decide to send young daughters to her house for special painting lessons. One of the most significant examples of this theme is changes in their attitude towards a relationship between her and Homer. Initially, local people are horrified by this couple, but then they accept Homer as a suitable choice for Emily.

Symbolism in This Faulkner’s Story

To earn good grades with A Rose for Emily essay, remember it’s very symbolical. Emily is described by the author as a ruined monument to American South. The theme of decay and changes is reinforced with the image of her house that was an elegant mansion in the past, but it became a decaying eyesore in the area that turned into industrial.

Another interesting symbol is a crayon portrait of her father because it’s associated with an oppressive influence on the present by the past. This portrait is significant to Emily, so any rare visitor of her house can see it. Besides, the pseudo-chivalry of local people is shown in different symbolic actions, including a decision of parents to send young daughters to Emily and a decree of Colonel Sartoris that Emily doesn’t have to pay any taxes.

In contrast, the carriage of Homer symbolizes a difference between old-fashioned and modern attitudes (Old South and New South). Perhaps, the most vivid symbols in this story include a locked room in Emily’s house and a long gray hair on a pillow. This room symbolizes the mystery and secrecy associated with her house and relationship with Homer, while this hair, its length, and color suggests an ongoing interaction between Emily and the dead body of her lover and indicates her refusal to acknowledge death and its finality.

A List of Important Thesis Statements

They can be used as excellent starters for A Rose for Emily essay, and each one incorporates a major theme in this book. They all are broad enough to find the necessary textual support, while being narrow enough to offer a focused viewpoint. These ideas offer the short summaries of this story written by William Faulkner in terms of a variety of elements that can be important to any reader. Add your own understanding and analysis of the plot and connect them with the text.

  1. Diagnosing Emily in this book. She is the main character and a bizarre woman who is withdrawn from the society and trapped in the world of her delusions. She doesn’t seem to receive any psychiatric treatment, but she has the symptoms that indicate mental ailments. By examining her social relationships and behavior, it’s easy to suggest that Emily has some mental ailment. Although the society doesn’t consider her crazy, this woman is very ill.
  2. The role played by the community. In this book, the whole community albeit to protect both a small town and Emily from the stigma and shame of her idiosyncratic behavior and illness. By reviewing different statements and behaviors of community members, the reasons of people’s denial can be easily determined and analyzed. They seem to protect their identity as being the traditional and upstanding community and its behavior is completely adaptive to key purposes.
  3. The significance of a physical space. A macrocosmic setting of the South provides readers with a certain sense of place, both psychological and physical. Furthermore, there is a microcosmic setting of Emily’s house where she has spent her adult life in the same bed with the dead body of her lover. After examining each of these settings, explain how a physical place can both emphasize and contextualize a psychological one.
  4. The effects of the anonymous narrator used by the author. One of the most interesting writing techniques used by William Faulkner is the unnamed narrator who tells the story of Emily. Readers are struck by how this character tells it by describing the feelings and suspicions of townspeople. Examine the effect of this interesting narrative style via a close textual analysis.
  5. The role played by The Negro. An old African-American man who doesn’t speak is one of the only people who contact Emily during her isolation, and his role is prominent