Rose for Emily essay
Rose for Emily essay
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…"A Rose for Emily," is a story that shows all too clearly how airily Faulkner can reproduce the manipulation of the reader's emotions that is the real aim of the commercial short story. "A Rose for Emily" is the story of the old maid who fell in love with a Northerner but resisted being jilted once too often; only after her death, when the curious townspeople were able to enter her house at last, did they discover that she had kept her dead lover in the bed where she had killed him after their last embrace. But even in "ARose for Emily,"
Rose for Emily," the intended Gothic touch of horror counts less with Faulkner than the human drama of the Southern gentlewoman unable to understand how much the world has changed around her. And in a far greater story, "That Evening Sun," in which the characters are the Compson children from Faulkner great novel, The Sound and the Fury, the emotion of the Negro servant, Nancy, who is pregnant by another man and lives in terror of being killed by her husband, is built up with such skill and communicates so well the bewilderment and anxiety of the children themselves ( Quentin, the oldest, is the narrator) that the terror of the woman becomes the atmospheric center of the story, communicating itself to the children as the first absolute fact they must learn to recognize.
"That Evening Sun" begins with a description of "old" Jefferson in the days when Negro laundresses still walked about carrying baskets of wash on their heads, and were able to stoop under fences without dropping their load. And the use of this opening comes back to us when young Quentin describes Nancy telling a story to him and the children -- ". . . like she was living somewhere else, waiting somewhere else. She was outside the cabin. Her voice was inside and the shape of her, the Nancy that could stoop under a barbed wire fence with a bundle of clothes balanced on her head as though without weight, like a balloon, was there."
This concern with emotion as a fact in itself, virtually an absolute, that stands apart from history and survives it -- this is nowhere more pronounced than in "Red Leaves," probably the high point of this collection. An Indian chief has died, and his Negro slave, knowing that by custom the dog, the horse, and the body servant of a chief must be buried with him, runs off to the swamp. Faulkner indulges in a certain amount of mischievous humor, Southern white man's humor, at the expense of Negro slaves…
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