In the book “A Rose for Emily,” Emily Grierson is the main character who is both headstrong as well as rigid. The readers are able to perceive this through the various events that unfold in the story. The character that Emily plays is an interesting one. This essay will compare the character of Emily in “A Rose for Emily”
In “A Rose for Emily,” Emily stands out as the classic outsider who controls as well as limits the town’s access towards her actual identity by means of staying hidden. For instance, the house separates Emily from the world is a suggestion of the thoughts of the woman who stays in it: shuttered, dusky, as well as dark. The object of the intense security of the town, Emily is a muted as well as an enigmatic character. On one side, she displays the qualities of the conventional southern “eccentric”: unstable, extremely tragic, as well as subject to inexplicable behavior. For instance, Emily imposes her own sense of law as well as conduct when she declines to pay her taxes and also when she refuse to state her objective for purchasing poison. In addition, she skirts the law by refusing to have numbers to be attached to her house during the introduction of federal mail service. Emily’s dismissal of the law ultimately undertakes a more sinister effects, when she murders the man whom she does not want to permit him to leave her.
The narrator depicts Emily as a monument, however, at the same time she is pitied as well as often annoying, by demanding to live life as per her own terms. The focus of both gossip an speculation, the people in the town cluck their tongues towards the fact that Emily accepts the attention of Homer without any firm plans for a wedding. Following her purchase of the poison, the townspeople assume that she is going to kill herself. However, the instabilities of Emily leads her to another direction. The final scene in the story portrays her as a necrophiliac. The term “necrophilia” simply refers to the sexual attraction of an individual towards dead bodies. The term as well describes a strong desire to manipulate another, typically in a romantic or profoundly personal relationship context. People who have necrophilia have a tendency to be very controlling in their relationships up to a point where they eventually resort to bonding with entities that unresponsive, that is, dead people. Mr. Grierson used to control Emily, and following his death, she momentarily controls him by means of refusing to hand over his dead body.
There are events or characters that cannot be measured by the logic of this world in both narratives. In Cinderella, when her step-mother denies her permission to attend the ball at the palace, a fairy godmother appears with a magic wand that turns her rags into a beautiful ball gown. The mice become horses and the pumpkins are turned into a cart which is used to take Cinderella to the ball. The fact that the prince searched the whole kingdom to find someone who could fit in Cinderella's shoe is illogical considering no one else fit in the shoe except her. In Hamlet, King Hamlet's ghost appears and talks to Prince Hamlet telling him that he had not died naturally but had been killed by Claudius. There is the use of magic which is meant to create suspense and make the narrative more interesting.
Certain moments of the folk narratives are characterized by dominant images which make it easier for the reader to visualize and understand the narrative. In Cinderella, when the writer describes the life Cinderella lived, the clothes she wore we somehow get the visual image. In Shakespeare's Hamlet, the scene where Laertes, Gertrude, Claudius and Hamlet are fighting is so intense you can visualize. We see how shocked Fortinbras is when he sees the entire royal family dead on the floor. Descriptive writing is used to enhance a scene in a narrative or play.There is only one plot line in the narratives. There are no irrelevant details added. In the Cinderella narrative, the plot only sticks to Cinderella, how she meets the prince and they live happily ever after. In Hamlet, the story sticks to Hamlet and how he plans to avenge his father.
There exists the unity of plot in both narratives. The scenes occur in a logical sequence which adds up to the main plot. All the different scenes in Cinderella all add up to her going for the ball at the palace, meeting the prince and they lived happily ever after. In Hamlet, which is the longest play by William Shakespeare, has all the scenes adding up to how Hamlet plans on avenging his father though he took a while planning it.
The stories in both narratives are different. They are only similar at the beginning where both major characters, Cinderella and Hamlet, are despondent as they have lost their mother and father respectively. Hamlet is a tragedy as it ends with Hamlet dying while Cinderella ends with a shoe fitting happily ever after. Though the narratives are different they manage to follow Axel Olrik's epic laws folk narrative.
Headstrong as well as rigid, illustrates the flat characters of Emily, as she gets stuck in time and space without changing her perceptions, or changing the manner in which she interacts with the society at large. The readers see this by means of different occurrences within the story, the major one being her refusal of paying taxes. Other example comprise of her slow reception of the fact that her father is dead. This shows that she has lost the grip towards reality as well as of the people who surround her, until she does not recognize that her faithful defender, Colonel Sartoris, passed on about a decade ago. Whereas the readers can notice a change in the narrative voice all through the story, Emily does not change, as she is stuck within the days of the white houses as well as the stature of being a Grierson.
Despite Emily’s mental instability, she is as well described as a strong woman. This is established early in the story by the narrator when he observes that she was buried amongst soldiers, and that men within the neighborhood were in their Confederate uniforms when attending her funeral. The narrator also states that Emily’s hair turned to "iron gray" as she became old, implying that she had a hardness attached to her, as a result of life which had made her tough. In addition, we again perceive her strength when we find out that she murdered Homer Barron in addition to keeping his for her entire life. The narrator depicts that Emily had “cockolded” him, controlling him at the end. Emily is often compared to Katherine Mansfield main character Miss Brill who like Emily, has lost her grip on reality.
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