Short Story and Emily

Topics: Short story, Joyce Carol Oates, William Faulkner Pages: 2 (615 words) Published: September 5, 2013
Written Response “A Rose for Emily”
Nate Kissinger

What is southern gothic fiction? Southern Gothic is a literary tradition that came into its own in the early twentieth century. It is rooted in the Gothic style, which had been popular in European literature for many centuries. In the famous short story “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner, there are several examples of southern gothic fiction spread throughout this story. |

The most important and defining aspect of southern gothic writing is the use of grotesque events. Those types of events are definitely found in this story. “A Rose for Emily”, told through the eyes of an entire southern town, depicts a woman named Emily, who is the last remaining member of once great family. The town watches as Emily grows more and more estranged as years pass. Eventually, she dies alone, the town enters her house and is shocked to find the decomposed body of her lover, who had been assumed to ha left Emily years ago, in the bedroom upstairs. Faulkner ends the story on a horrifying and gruesome note, writing “Then we noticed that in the second pillow was an indention of a head. One of us lifted something from it, and leaning forward, that faint and invisible dust dry and acrid in the nostrils, we saw a long strand of iron-gray hair.”

Another defining aspect of the southern gothic writing style is the use of southern archetypes. In “A Rose for Emily,” the main character, Emily, is an archetype of the classic southern reclusive, aging spinster. She lives out her entire life in her family’s gigantic house, all alone, except for the one remaining servant that her family owned. Unfortunately, when Emily finally finds a lover, she gets real clingy to him and poisons him to prevent any other woman to have him. Because she killed her lover couldn’t leave and wasn’t responsive to anything she said or did. She also refused to follow the law.  She didn’t want to pay her taxes or have the postal service set up...
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