Symbolism in “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner

Abel Girma Mr. Lucky English Language and Literature IB Y1 04 September 2012 Word Count: 1087 The Consciousness of Importance in “A Rose For Emily” “Then we observed that in the second pillow was the imprint of a head. One of us raised something from it, and leaning forward, that faint and unnoticeable dust dry and acrid in the nostrils, we saw a long hair of iron-gray hair” read the last lines of “A Rose for Emily”, a short story written by the American author and Nobel Reward laureate William Faulkner, released in 1931.

These last words put a stunning and rather troubling end to this piece illustrating the strange life of Emily Grierson, and her obdurate rejection to adapt to changes in her life, residing in her own non-transforming world. Various symbols are used throughout the text although Faulkner did not use any sort of mindful meaning. The credibility of this claim depends on his Nobel Prize in Literature acceptance speech, his bio and his interview on the significance of “A rose for Emily”. Emily Grierson is portrayed as “A fallen monolith” from the very start of the story as the storyteller begins to explain the ritualistic procedures following her death.

Not long after, her home, a “home that had as soon as been white, embellished with cupolas and spires and scrolled terraces in the heavily lightsome design of the seventies.” (Section I of “A Rose for Emily) Is adjacently weakened as “an eyesore among eyesores” (Area I of “A Rose for Emily), invaded by the degrading and industrialized area that utilized to be an illustriously reputed area in the 1970s. This is a great example of meaning used in the text as it offers an inkling of the stubbornness in which Emily, a southern woman has actually lived her life cleaved to the past and immersed in old southern customs.

Similarly, the “Rose” in “A Rose for Emily” is a thought-provoking symbol due to the truth that it is never ever pointed out throughout the totality of the story. The interpretations of the “Rose” are unbounded and arguable. It can be comprehended as being a rose of sympathy Faulkner wish to commit to Emily for she had lived an undoubtedly grim life of privacy and anguish. It can equally be analyzed as a rose representing the love Emily desperately needed in her life but never genuinely discovered, viewing as a rose normally symbolizes love in the majority of cultures.

Also, another shock kindling and incontestably pivotal symbol in the story is restricted within the last sentence, “the long strand of iron-gray hair”. These last words reveal the gruesome moral depravity in which Emily lived an excellent part of her life, sleeping next to the decaying remains of Homer, the very first possible true-love in Emily’s life that decided to leave her not long after they began investing a great deal of time together. The hair of hair represents the typically heretical path which individuals cross in the mission for love.

There is not a clear enough correlation in between most of the signs and what they represent for them to have actually been an application of mindful significance. Additionally Faulkner himself has actually determined that he does not rely on consciously using meaning to transport his viewpoints as an author. Efficiently, William Faulkner blatantly denies utilizing any mindful symbolism. He describes: “I was merely attempting to discuss people […] it was no objective of the author to state, Now let’s see, I’m going to compose a piece in which I will use a significance […] (extract from the interview “A Meaning of “A Rose for Emily”).

This quotation further confirms the argument that the significance used by Faulkner was unintentional. Ray Bradbury, one of the most renowned American authors of the 20th century explains his take on this topic in an action to a letter from a 16 years of age trainee in 1963. The student wanted to know more about making use of meaning in literary works so Bradbury mentioned that “I never knowingly place symbolism in my writing. That would be an uncomfortable workout and self-consciousness is beating to any imaginative act. […] The very best meaning is always unsuspected and natural. Faulkner also describes his primary interest as an author as being about “the human heart in conflict with itself” (Nobel Reward acceptance speech). Therefore, his sole purpose as a writer breaks the act of using mindful symbolism. Accordingly, in “A Rose for Emily”, he informs the extravagant, yet engaging story of Miss Emily Grierson’s internal dispute in the pursuit of joy and love that leads her to unconventional– even satanic– acts. Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily” provides signs with limitless analyses and therefore proves to a considerable degree that using those symbols weren’t conscious.

Furthermore, It would be contumelious not to agree with the author when he denies the use of conscious importance. Importance in “A Rose for Emily” is consistently present and plays a major role in the possible readers’ interpretations of the story’s message. Nevertheless, the use of symbols in a literary work is inevitable and isn’t always an item of a conscious act. This implies that the reality that there is significance in the text isn’t a contradiction to the author’s preliminary goal which is writing a mere ghost story influenced by “an image of a strand of hair on the pillow in the abandoned home. (Interview on The Meaning of “A Rose for Emily”). Consequently, the unconscious significances within the story give it sophistication and depth due to its readers’ analyses, not due to the immoral act of imposing importance upon them. The American author Isaac Asimov encompasses the answer to the controversy of using significance in his action to the exact same letter about from the 16 years of age trainee: “Consciously? Heavens, no! Automatically? How can one avoid it?” Faulkner did not utilize conscious significance in “A Rose for Emily”.

Many applications of significance exist in this brief ghost-story and they do hold a non-negligible position in the general meaning of the piece based on each readers’ understanding of them. Nonetheless, the literary virtuoso, William Faulkner did not purposefully place these symbols as a means to communicate his message in a hidden manner. In lieu of doing so, he straight-forwardly wrote a simple ghost-story containing inescapable signs. As a matter of truth, we may ask ourselves: to what extent is the mindful use of symbolism in literature in order to communicate message, efficient and reliable?