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A Rose for Emily: Characterization

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A Rose for Emily: Characterization

Characterization refers to the techniques a writer uses to develop characters. In the story A Rose for Emily William Faulkner uses characterization to reveal the character of Miss Emily. He expresses the content of her character through physical description, through her actions, words, and feelings. Faulkner best uses characterization to examine the theme of the story, too much pride can end in homicidal madness.

Miss Emily, the main character of this story, lives for many years as a recluse, someone who has withdrawn from a community to live in seclusion. Faulkner characterizes Miss Emily's attempt to remove herself from society through her actions. The death of her father and the shattered relationship with her sweetheart contributed to her seclusion.

Though her father was responsible for her becoming a recluse, her pride also contributed to her seclusion. Faulkner uses the feelings of other characters to show Miss Emily's pride. Her pride has kept her from socializing with other members of the community thus reinforcing her solitary. But Miss Emily's father is still responsible for her being a hermit. If he had not refuse the men who wanted to go out with Miss Emily, she may have not gone crazy.

Miss Emily may have wanted seclusion, but her heart lingered for companionship. Her desire for love and companionship drove her to murder Homer Baron. She knew her intentions when she bought the arsenic poison. Her deepest feelings and hidden longings were lying in the bed. Miss Emily's pride resulted in the shocking murder of Homer Baron.

Faulkner's use of characterization to describe Miss Emily and her intentions was triumphant in bring the story to life. Miss Emily's pride was expressed through her actions, words, and feelings, through a narrator's direct comments about the character's nature, and through the actions, words, and feelings, of other characters. Miss Emily's story constitutes a warning against the sin of pride: heroic isolation pushed too far ends in homicidal madness.



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