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William Faulkners central theme in the story A Rose For Emily is to let go of the past Emily Grierson has a tendency to cling to the past and has a reluctance to be independent Faulkner uses symbols throughout the story to cloak an almost allegorical correlation to the reconstruction period of the South Even these symbols are open to interpretation they are the heart and soul of the story With the literal meaning of Faulkners story implies many different conclusions it is primarily the psychological and symbolic aspects which give the story meaning Miss Emily cannot accept change to any degree She is unable to ameliorate as the rest of the society does The Old South is becoming the New South and yet Emily still has a Negro man helping around the house Her house had once been white and sits on what had once been a most select street however now it is surrounded by cotton gins garages and gasoline pumps This scene creates a sense of the house being an eyesore among eyesores 469 Another example of Miss Emilys ability to refuse change is when she does not allow a house number to be placed on her house when the town receives free postal service Emilys father denies her the freedom to establish relationships with men In fact Emily was denied her rose A rose if often referred to as a symbol of everlasting love between a man and a woman Since her father denies her the chance to court men she has no chance to even fall in love We had long thought of them as tableau Miss Emily a slender figure in white in the background her father spraddled silhouette in the foreground his back to her and clutching a horsewhip the two of them framed by the blackflung front door 471 This picture presents a sense of him being the master while
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