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A Rose for Emilys House What makes a short story a classic What separates a story from one that is read and taught in thousands of schools across the nation In his short story A Rose for Emily William Faulkner uses symbolism to compare the Grierson house with Emily Griersons physical deterioration her shift in social standing and her reluctance to accept change When compared chronologically the Grierson house is used to symbolize Miss Emilys physical attributes In its prime the Grierson house is described as white decorated with cupolas and spires and scrolled balconies in the heavily lightsome style of the seventies Faulkner 362 This description suggests that the house was built not only for function but also to impress and engage the attention of the other townspeople Similarly the wealthy women of the era Emily Grierson not withstanding were dressed in a conspicuous manner This for the most part is because their appearance was perceived as a direct reflection on their husbands andor fathers This display of extravagance was egotistically designed by men to give an impression of wealth to onlookers Emily was regarded by her father as property Her significance to him was strongly ornamental just as their overly lavish home was As the plot progresses the reader is clearly made aware of the physical decline of both the house and Miss Emily Just as the house is described as smelling of dust and disuse evidence of Emilys own aging is given when her voice in similarly said to be harsh and rusty as if from disuse 362-363 Ultimately at the time of Emilys death the house is seen by the townspeople as an eyesore among eyesores and Miss Emily is regarded as a fallen monument 362 Both are empty and lifeless Neither are even remotely representative of their former splendor Just as their physical characteristics Faulkner uses the Grierson house as a symbol for Miss Emilys change in social
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