“A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner’s
Literature is a great mechanism of influence. It means that there are some literary works that leave a profound impression in the hearts of the readers. For me, William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily” is such a piece of writing. It makes me look from another perspective on the problem of women's discrimination and hard conditions of life in the men-oriented world. In other words, it helps to understand that there is no place for love and other tender feelings for women if the oppressive surrounding treats them rather as things than the greatest God’s created equal with men.
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On the one hand, the plot of the story seems to be a typical love tragedy, which does not have any hidden message incorporated in it. It means that the readers simply follow the unhappy love story of Miss Emily Grierson, a wealthy old woman, and Homer Barron, a Yankee, who is not willing to marry her; in the end, they are shocked by the horrible outcome – a murder of Homer by Miss Emily. Nevertheless, if to read this story between the lines, it becomes clear that it deals not only with the simple narrative – the retelling of events but also with their analysis. It helps to find out that this unhappy love is not only the result of a discrepancy between the characters, but also the social hierarchy, in which females form the lowest layer.
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Firstly, the author reveals it in the relationships between the main characters – Miss Emily and her father. He treats her as a slave. It means that he deprives his daughter of the opportunity to enjoy the outer world, only because he wants all her attention for himself but not other men. It makes the readers sympathize, Miss Emily, as such father’s decision makes it impossible for her to find true woman happiness. Moreover, many female readers find the reflection of themselves in Miss Emily as such relationships between a father and a daughter are not imaginary but plausible ones.
Nevertheless, not only the main character but also minor ones as well as setting prove the existence of women discrimination in society. For example, it can be noticed in the attitude of Jefferson’s community towards Miss Emily. After the death of her father, it decides to look after her, control her action as well as eliminate tax duties since a lonely woman is treated as dependent and helpless. In addition, if to take into consideration the general place and time where the action takes place, it becomes clear that the South of the twentieth century is ruled by the Biblical belief – a woman is the main reason of all troubles and evil.
Symbolism plays a great role in revealing the problems of women's discrimination. Emily’s house symbolizes a cage in which even well-off women are kept only because of their sex. In addition, this house also symbolizes solitude, death, and mental breakdown. It means that the author in such a way wants to show that, in fact, women discrimination does not bring any benefits.
To sum up, this literary work has greatly changed my understanding of women’s position in the world. It helps to conclude that only equal rights of both sexes can enhance the personal well-being of the citizens because if women are oppressed, they cannot create peace and love within the family which is the most important link in the society. This book has come to my mind when I saw the quarrel between my neighbors – father and daughter. Now, I know what can change their relationships – William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily”.