Resistance To Change In Faulkner's 'A Rose For Emily'

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A Rose for Emily, begins with the main character Emily Grierson’s funeral, and a series of flashbacks of her life. It is narrated by neighbors that never got to know her. Emily’s father died, leaving her alone in the world because he had driven all possible suitors away from her. There were few roles that women could openly be other than being a wife and mother in the early 20th century. She later meets a Northerner, but he is not the marrying type, and “disappeared”. We see the world move on as the stubborn Emily stays stuck in her traditional times in a Southern town. Ray B. West Jr. states in his review of A Rose for Emily, “Miss Emily’s resistance to change is, certainly untenable…Emily does not resist change completely…” (pg 527). He goes on to say that Faulkner overlooks the fact that Emily did not always resist change. Faulkner implies that there was once a time when Emily would have participated in the normal behavior and activities the women her age would have been acceptable. West Jr. talks about the main story is man’s relation to Time. “Emily becomes monstrous (like her house) when she resists the passage of time...” (pg 527) He goes on to state the theme of the story “One must neither resist nor wholly accept change, for…show more content…
Watkins calls A Rose for Emily, one of William Faulkner’s best written short story of the modern times. “Faulkner’s structural problem with this story, demanded that he treat all of Miss Emily’s life and her increasing withdrawal from the community and that by extreme selection he gave a unity to focus on three conflicts.” (pg 528) Watkins talks about the ongoing intrusions that Emily experience in her life, causing her to further isolate herself. One part of the story four men break open her cellar door to stop a disgusting odor. Another part is that a Baptist minister calls upon Emily to chide her for the disgrace of her affair with Homer Barron. A third part in an intrusion is two forced entrances that is not

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