Hi, need to submit a 2750 words essay on the topic Isolation and Repression in Faulkners A Rose for Emily.
Download file to see previous pages…
The tone and choice of words for the setting deride the Griersons for being like their house, stubborn in their own fading antiquity. Furthermore, the parlor’s dusty and cracked leather-covered furniture represents Emily’s continuity of her father’s tyrannical authority. Emily must not have noticed that despite the tribulations she experienced from her father’s overprotectiveness, she has become more like him, and that she would never care to admit, when she does not want to listen to what other people say, because she is used to getting her way. Cleanth Brooks and Robert Penn Warren interpret Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily” in their essay, “Interpretation: ‘A Rose for Emily’”. They assert that Emily’s pride arises from her “contempt for public opinion”, where she refuses the imposition of external will on her own independent will (55). She perpetuates the patriarchal order of power, although she is a woman, by acting like a man, tough and unrelenting to her detractors, like the cracked leather furniture that will never surrender to modern appliances. Her pride, nevertheless, is screened through social norms. She might think that their house is like her family, imposing and grand, but the community considers her family’s heritage as an “eyesore among eyesores” (Faulkner 1). The more Emily sees highly of herself and her family, the less she is respected in the community, the community that values social interaction. more than an aristocratic name and upbringing.
Another way of exploring the effect of isolation on people is through openness to deception. Inside the parlor of the Grierson house, people might expect grandness, but all they see is the figurative decaying of the aristocratic social class. Faulkner represents the crumbling South and aristocratic families through Emily’s parlor, where “On a tarnished gilt easel before the fireplace stood a crayon portrait of Miss Emily’s father” (1). The stature of the family’s name is eclipsed with a crayon portrait, as if the people realize how they are deceived. The Grierson’s power lies on old social connections, not on their present-day social capital. Despite losing her family’s former wealth, Emily does not remove her cloak of pride, as she relies on old agreements. She does not pay taxes, for instance, because she believes her family has made arrangements with Colonel Sartoris: “Only a man of Colonel Sartoris’ generation and thought could have invented it, and only a woman could have believed it” (Faulkner 1). Like the house that appears grand, Colonel Sartoris and Emily belong to the past era, where they think their social connections and agreements are enough to reinforce their social power. Moreover, the community sustains Emily’s self-deception by not questioning her actions.