A Rose For Emily Literary Analysis

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Credibility Matters: Tales of an Unreliable Narrator Texts that have been afforded the title of “literature” or “literary texts” have many ways of making meaning, and as such, critics have found many ways of interpreting both how those meanings are created and what they are. Cleanth Brooks and Robert Warren were both influential critics who utilized and developed New Critic techniques, including the idea of using “close reading” to find unity, to analyze and interpret literary works. However, in their interpretation of William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily,” Brooks and Warren rely heavily on the narrator to justify their thesis regarding Miss Emily’s character as a tragic hero, which highlights their understanding of the short story’s unity.…show more content…
Tragic heroes typically have tragic flaws that prove to be his or her downfall. In this case, the critics focus on Miss Emily’s personality and so-called madness as the tragic flaw. When one considers the narrator’s lack of credibility, even the apparently tightly wound argument regarding Miss Emily’s flaw, begins to loosen. This follows because close reading techniques were not applied to other aspects of the short story’s form in order to support Brooks’ and Warren’s thesis; this includes a formal analysis of the imagery within the short story. Imagery is so prevalent throughout the entirety of the work, especially because time is not linear and the narrator molds it to fit his or her own storytelling style. For example, the graying of Emily’s hair is visible and has more solidity than the apparent omniscience of the narrator. Essentially, Brooks and Warren trust the narrator to have been at all the events mentioned. However, it is much more likely that he or she is getting many of the events presented as second-hand story
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