Emily’s Rose: Symbol of Her Transcendence to Traditional South (80033)

Session Information: Literary and Media Studies
Session Chair: Hope Yu

Sunday, 26 May 2024 12:55
Session: Session 3
Room: Room 704
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

The title of William Faulkner’s "A Rose for Emily", particularly the symbolic meaning of the rose has been discussed for years. Four major ideas towards the rose are summarized as love, lament, secrecy and an ambiguous ghostly feature. Though the previous interpretations all provide some connection with the rose, they fail to connect the meaning with the protagonist Emily and the whole story and discover a definite meaning most related to the theme. Emily is a Southern woman who afflicts from a patriarchal father and Puritan moral code of virginity. The rose for her, therefore, should be an opportunity to transcend the traditional South. The love story between Emily and Homer is her first try. And the rebellion converts to be a secret through Emily’s maintenance of Homer’s dead body. The symbolic rose, thus being a presence-absence, lives forever in the narration of “we” and memorizes by the readers. The high-profile love affair with Homer Barron is her first attempt to resist the pain she suffers from her dominant father and the Southern womanhood. Her rebellious action transforms to be in secret when she faces with the prevention from her relatives and other Southerners. Her brave kill of her lover, which is revealed at the end of the story, successfully remains her transcendence. Ultimately, the presence-absence “rose” safely conceals in Emily’s pretense to be traditional. And Faulkner succeeds in A Rose for Emily as well, by representing his humane concern towards Southern ladies like Emily.

Peishan Cai, Sichuan University, China

About the Presenter(s)
Dr Peishan Cai is a University Doctoral Student at Sichuan University in China

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00