O’Brien, Timothy. “Who Arose for Emily?” The Faulkner Journal, vol. 29, no. 1, 2015, pp. 101-109.
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This article published in a scholarly journal reflects on a possible pun in the famously hard-to-interpret title of Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily.” After listing several interpretations of what a titular rose, never explicitly mentioned in the text, could mean, the author proposes an interpretation of his own. According to him, one may interpret the title as a pun on the verb form “arose,” which, in turn, allows one to analyze the story from a different perspective. O’Brien notes that there are many binary oppositions within the story, and critics have drawn considerable attention to most of them. However, he also points out that the vertical contrast of rising and falling or up and down is the least popular. The author analyzes the uses of rose and homonymic word forms to develop his version of the story’s trajectory. According to him, bringing Homer Barron down into a static horizontal position is simultaneously an attempt to rise the Old South up from the ashes of the past. As such, the source may be used to demonstrate how Faulkner uses the contrast of up and down implied in the story’s potentially suggestive title.
Towner, Theresa M. The Cambridge Introduction to William Faulkner. Cambridge UP, 2008.
This scholarly monograph discusses many aspects of Faulkner’s writing and also pays specific attention to “A Rose for Emily” on one or two occasions. When discussing the short story, the author focuses the analysis of how Faulkner uses the contrast between the nearly impenetrable façade of propriety maintained by Emily and the sinister doings that happen behind it. According to the author, it is this juxtaposition, combined with the careful withholding of the truth, that allows Faulkner to create such an impactful resolution for the story. Apart from that, the author also discusses how the horror-like quality of the story in question is not particularly characteristic for Faulkner and sets “A Rose for Emily” apart from most of his other works. As such, the source may be used to discuss how the use of contrasts, whether explicit or implicit, was a hallmark of Faulkner’s writing and a recognizable part of his style. In terms of analyzing “A Rose for Emily” specifically, the source can contribute to the discussion of how the binary oppositions carefully constructed by the author function within the story.
West, Ray B. “Atmosphere and Theme in Faulkner’s ‘A Rose for Emily’.” William Faulkner: Critical Assessments, Volume 1, edited by Henry Claridge, Helm Information, 1999, pp. 43-49.
This work in an anthology discusses how Faulkner employs contrast and juxtaposition in structuring the narrative using “A Rose for Emily” as an example. The author analyzes how Faulkner constructs the contrast between the old and the new from the first lines of the short story. The “old” refers to the behavioral norms and social mores of the declining Southern aristocracy epitomized by Emily Grierson, and the “new” is represented by the ways of the younger generation. According to the author, emphasizing this contrast from the beginning of the text allows Faulkner to set up the story’s conflict early on without referring to it explicitly. The article covers several instances of the juxtaposition of the past and the present as the ways in which Faulkner develops the conflict throughout the text. As such, this source can be used to discuss the subtle ways in which Faulkner constructs the tension in “A Rose for Emily.” In broader terms and speaking of Faulkner’s style in general, it may also be used to illustrate how his masterful use of contrasts allows setting up the conflict without elaborate explanation and exposition.