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Word Count: 609
In A Rose for Emily William Faulkner effectively uses symbolism to illustrate the fading glory of the Old South giving away to the progress of Reconstruction and the new century It also plays a role in understanding the whole meaning of the story and why Emily is a tragic figure as opposed to an evil person Faulkners ability to incorporate symbolism meaningfully into his stories is a testament to his fine Southern Gothic writing Emily is compared to her house in many ways throughout the story The house is slowly deteriorating over the years such as Emilys mental state Her house is on what used to be the select street Faulkner 431 but commercial buildings have taken over the neighborhood so now only Miss Emilys house was left lifting its stubborn and coquettish decay above the cotton wagons and the gasoline pumps-an eyesore among eyesores Faulkner 432 Emily herself is described as a fallen monument Faulkner 431 suggesting that she has let herself go over the years She is beautiful in her younger days but as she grows older she becomes ugly and bloated Her voice is dry and cold Faulkner 432 as if it is as unused as her house These descriptions emphasize the way beauty and grace can decline without care and love Emilys relationship with Northerner Homer Barron and her reputation thereafter are also symbolized in the story In the beginning of her relationship with Homer the color yellow is prominent from the yellow-wheeled buggy to Homers yellow glove In the film version Emily is wearing a yellow dress when they go out riding Yellow is meant to symbolize Emilys hope that love and happiness has finally come to her and she can accept it since her overbearing father is deceased After Homer has gone Emilys reputation is tarnished like the gilt easel in her living room and the gold head of her ebony cane Once the door to the locked room
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