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Old Miss Emily

             Time is a "period taken or required for an action." It is also a "period of life or history". It is an "experience related to an occasion" ("Dictionary" 458) and illustrates a concept of past, present and future. However, in William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily", only the essence of the past is emphasized. The main character, Miss Emily Grierson, lives in the memories and values of her past, and never seems to get out of it. Indeed, throughout the story, the world of tradition and past are reflected through the constant reference to Emily's dead father; the description of her old house; and through her lover, Homer Barron. .
             Emily's Father is portrayed as a dominant male, who considers himself as superior to women, which illustrates his old-fashioned ways and his inability to move on into the future (because in the story, traditional values are replaced by more modern ones). In fact, this image is reflected in the townspeople's own tableau of the main character and her father. Emily is described as a "slender figure in white in the background" (Faulkner 350), implying that she is just a slight figure, comparable to nothing at all. The color white symbolizes Emily's innocence and fragility, and the fact that Emily is positioned in the background truly proves that she is nothing compared to her father, that she is simply a wallflower. In contrast, her father is described as a "spraddled silhouette in the foreground." (Faulkner 38) The word "spraddled" is used as a spatial metaphor and illustrates the idea of taking a lot of space. Thus, being in the foreground and taking up a lot of space, Emily's father is an image of a dominant patriarchal figure. Moreover, unlike Emily, he is described as a silhouette, which is much more distinct and defined than a figure (which is more faded and imprecise). Also, the fact that he is " clutching a horsewhip- (Faulkner 38) illustrates an image of violence and abusive power toward Emily (and women in general), and an old-fashioned value.

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