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A Rose for Emily

             Social hierarchy was important among the wealthy of the south. Male dominance among southern living led daughters and wives to be more of a trophy for their fathers and husbands. They dressed and lived to display their social class and were not to associate with people less than themselves. A woman's job was to please the male figure of the house and often time this was never enough. Throughout adolescence and your growing years you long for relationships both through friendship and romantic interests. Lacking in these can leave you emotionally downtrodden and yearning for attention. Isolation and retreating from social activity can occur when one has been disconnected from society. William Faulkner's portrayal of the quickly changing southern lifestyle in the short story, "A Rose for Emily," poignantly describes Emily's isolation and eventual social and physical decline through the use of symbolism.
             Throughout the short story, "A Rose for Emily" a gradual change in Mrs. Emily's character can been paralleled with the deterioration of her house. The Grierson house once stood "white, decorated with cupolas and spires- (Faulkner 532). This architecture symbolizes the prestige, strength and respect the Grierson's hold throughout the community. Before the death of her father, Mrs. Emily and her family stood as monuments of high ethical standards in the community of Jefferson. As the story progresses, the house is described of smelling of "dust and disuse" and Mrs. Emily's appearance seems to be heading in the same direction. Her voice became "dry and cold" and her body seems "bloated" and unkempt (532-533). Throughout Mrs. Emily's childhood she is pictured as "a slender figure in white- representing the purity and innocence of her youth (534). As the story progresses and her emotions regress her clothing changes to black and her slender figure swells. This is a good example a reoccurring archetype throughout the story.

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