Critical Analysis of "A Rose for Emily".
Written by William Faulkner, "A Rose for Emily" is by literary means an outstanding short story which unveils the human condition in a time which still holds onto and remembers the past. Faulkner allows us to peer into these unfolding events through a collective viewpoint never revealing a single narrator and writing in the third person. His understanding of character is shown to us, the readers, by an attachment we grow for Emily while limiting the details we know of her. In this light we become the gossip, the curious, and the collective, or as I believe the narrator himself. A human condition of holding onto the past braces Emily upward like a cane to the elderly. This thematic idea is littered throughout the story whether or not intentional. Through Faulkner's imagination and creativity, "A Rose for Emily" is a story which will be read over and over by many, being discussed and closely examined through many eyes. .
The language that Faulkner uses to tell this tale shows signs of a society holding onto the past from the very beginning. In the first sentence he writes "When Miss Emily Grierson Died, our whole town went to her funeral: the men through a sort of respectful affection for a fallen monument". It appears that the narrator is claiming that when Emily died the men did not grieve over her death but grieved over losing a piece of the past. Ironically, Emily is buried with the rest of the town's history, laying next to the men who fought in the civil war. Throughout the story we see Emily herself holding onto the past almost as if that is all she has to live for. When she is confronted about paying her taxes, she states "I received a paper, yes", "Perhaps he considers himself the sheriff .". It seems that she refers to the sheriff as if, in her mind, he doesn't exist and nothing has changed over the years. The statement does not seem too unbelievable though considering the oppression she received from her father for so many years.