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Word Count: 826
The Symbolic Meaning of Emily When we imagine the Old South certain images come to mind We undoubtedly think of upper classes rich not only in wealth but also in power and honor We also think of the struggles of the Old South including the invasion of northern ideas and the Souths staunch resistance to change In Faulkners short story A Rose for Emily he uses Emily to symbolize the dying of the Old South The symbols of wealth are apparent throughout the story Most notably Emily is fat which in the 19th century often denoted wealth as eating well was a privilege enjoyed strictly by those who had money Perhaps a stronger symbol however is Emilys house Faulkner describes the house as a big squarish frame house that had once been white decorated with cupolas and spires and scrolled balconies in the heavily lightsome style of the seventies set on what had once been our most select street Faulkner continues Only Miss Emilys house was left lifting its stubborn and coquettish decay above the cotton wagons and the gasoline pumps 26-27 Here Faulkner shows the Old South as a dead civilization and he suggests that Miss Emily is indeed its personification The description of the house as squarish and white with scrolled balconies and a small dome immediately conjure up images of old southern estates However Faulkner tells us that the white is fading and the home itself is in decay Here the home the last relic in the town of the Old South is dying This stubbornness is displayed by the fact that it rests by not only gasoline pumps but also by the cotton wagons The falling house shows that the last remnant of the Old South wealth is slipping away Perhaps the most intriguing part of the southern upper class was noblesse oblige This can be described as the obligation of a member of the nobility to behave with honor
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