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... Faulkner had never attached any importance to the character of manservant and, in all probability, it simply never occurred to him that anyone would be asking questions, regarding the issue. Don't let us forget that Faulkner himself came from the family of wealthy Southern landowners, whose predecessors owned slaves. Therefore, it would be rather naive to think that Faulkner had a progressive attitude towards the Black people. It is a common mistake of critics-beginners: they automatically assume that the great writers were also great in their everyday lives. The deepest thought that Knickerbocker managed to come up with in his review is: It is here that we read Miss Emily described for the second time as an idol in a niche, a metaphor that would further bear out Miss Emily's defiance in the face of a changing world that might not be able to change her habits, but nonetheless changes her as is the wont of time and entropy (Knickerbocker).
But it seems like the author slightly misunderstands the meaning of the term entropy. Emily is actually able to withstand the entropy, by preserving her memories in the perfect order, she even manages to preserve Barron's corpse, to her best ability. The absence of entropy is actually the absence of movement, therefore it is wrong to suggest that Emily was subjected to disintegration, because she is constantly described as rapidly aging. She tries to fight the entropy from within, so to speak. In my opinion, Knickerbocker's review is helpful, when it comes to understanding artistic methods, used by the author of Rose for Emily, but it doesn't go beyond that. (3) The original interpretation of what could Faulkner possibly mean by describing Barron as not a marrying man gives Jim Barloon in his article A Rose for Homer? The Limitations of a Reader-Response Approach to Faulkner's A Rose for Emily, which can be found at web Barloon says that many people, after having read Rose for Emily, suggest that Homer Barron was probably a gay, which would explain a lot: There are depths to Emily Grierson that the superficial gaze of the narrator could not reach.
Thus, as our brighter students might reasonably argue, if Emily Grierson so adamantly defies appearances, and convention, why not Homer Barron, her immortally beloved? Thematically, would it not be fitting if Homer, too, were not what he pretends or is supposed to be? (Barloon). It is of course a fact that Faulkner describes him as one who likes to hang out in the company of his friends. Also, we know that he cusses at niggers (which hardly makes him a homosexual). Still, Barloon provides a lot of factual evidence that many students find Barron's behaviour to be queer. Yet, he makes a conceptual mistake he confuses the numbers with the quality.
We can gather opinions from the hundred burger-flippers at McDonald's, who can barely speak English, regarding the hidden meaning of medieval symbolism in the Tales of Round Table, for example. But it doubtful if their opinion would constitute any value. The same applies to the students, who undergo the process of puberty and who see the hidden sexual agenda in just about anything: When these students are asked why they believe or suspect that Homer is gay, they invariably cite the following line: Homer himself had remarked he liked men, and it was known that he drank with the younger men in the Elks Club that he was not a marrying man (Barloon). There might be a slight credibility in such questions, but instead of making a big issue about it, Barloon, as educator, should have simply told them that, even if this was the case, the fable of Rose for Emily would still remain the same.
As it was being mentioned earlier, homosexuality is one of the ways, which death uses to manifest itself in our realm. If Barron was a gay, he would probably never even think of leaving Emily. The perversion can quite happily coexist with perversion. We all know that gays and lesbians like to hang out together, basically they have the same agenda. Emily, of course, is not lesbian, but she is perverted in her own way. She lives for society, while denying her own natural impulses, but she can't suppress them completely.
Emily's perversion consists of her superficiality. But, instead of making things clear, Barloon engages in politically-correct tirade: According to the contemporary critical paradigm, one should not adjudge interpretations right or wrong such absolutism belongs to an earlier time, not to a modern era intent upon the deconstruction of the logo centric, univocal framework. Rather, as Harold Bloom would have it, we must choose not between right and wrong readings, but between weak and strong misreadings (Barloon). But who it is to have set the contemporary critical paradigm? Left-wing liberals, who have no right to impose their views on public, just like anybody else? In my opinion, Barloon makes many excellent points in his research, but he is also concerned about not getting fired from his job, this is why we cannot grant his review a full intellectual integrity. (4) The final review that we are going to analyze here is written by the foreign critic, Mahmoud Azizi.
It is named The Symbolic References in A Rose for Emily and can be found at web What strikes as very odd, in this review, is the fact that author states that Rose for Emily is filled with symbolic references, yet, he is not sure about their meaning. But thanks to the Western system of teaching in the Third World countries, Azizi was able to memorize a certain buzz words, like tolerance or erases. He uses them freely, throughout his review, without bothering to find a proper context. Here is a good example: I think the three older men helped to find the source of the stench, but they didnt really do anything to stop it-I believe it is the young alderman who spreads the lime in a "sowing motion" in an effort to get rid of the smell-the lime perhaps representing tolerance (Azizi). But we have to give Azizi a credit at least he is being honest, while saying that he simply does not understand much of the symbolism in Rose for Emily: But Faulkner also places Homer in a buggy with yellow wheels, and even though he carries a whip like Emily's father did, he wears yellow gloves. Im not sure of the authors intent here-using the yellow color of cowardice-except maybe that Homer was afraid of marrying Emily.
Perhaps the North afraid of trusting the South? (Azizi). This is much better than suggesting that Homer is an active homosexual, because he wears yellow gloves. Azizi's review does not contain a main idea, it is basically a collection of odd observations, where author plays a very passive role. I get the feeling that Azizi simply lacks the courage to state what is really on his mind, this is why he reserves the way to back off. His line of thought can be brought down to a simple formula: If A isn't true than it must be the B, and if not, than the true essence of Faulkner's symbolism can be marked with X. We cannot seriously consider Azizi's work as critical review, in true sense of its word, although formally it fits the description.
He would probably excel much better analysing the literature of his native Pakistan, if such exists. Response to Literary Criticism The critical reviews that were being analysed above have many common features. Although, I would like to put Plagiator's work apart, as in my view, is does meet academic standards, for the reasons explained earlier. The rest of the reviews fall short, in one respect or another.
In my view, the essence of the story is the most important, the essence superceded form. Unless the writer is some obscure impressionist, his story is supposed to correspond to a certain literary criteria. We must be able to distinguish the prologue, the apogee and epilogue. But once the literary work is compatible with these standards, it is inevitably revolves around certain ideas, analysing which is the most important task of any critic. Still, it is hard to analyse a work that became a classic of American literature, while maintaining an academic integrity. The Rose for Emily was being written at the beginning of twentieth century and there were plenty of critical reviews of his work.
Every possible meaning of Faulkner's symbolism has been exploited to the full extent. Therefore, it is hard to add anything to what already was being said before. But the idea of death masking itself as life, through the character of Emily, is relatively new. There is a whole literature, dedicated to analysing the repressiveness of Southern tradition, but it was rarely mentioned that this repressiveness derives from Christianity, when it's taken literally. This is the root of all evils. This what turns a normal people into the freaks, who take pride in cutting off their genitals or killing their loved ones, for the sake of propriety.
Bibliography: Azizi, Mahmoud. The Symbolic References in A Rose for Emily 2005. Literature Classics. Com. November 4, 2006. web Barloon, Jim. "A Rose for Homer?
The Limitations of a Reader-Response Approach to Faulkner's A Rose for Emily. 2002. The University of St. Thomas. November 4, 2006. web Faulkner, William. A Rose for Emily.
Collected Stories of William Faulkner. New York: Vintage, 1995. Plagiarist, Paul. An Analysis of Rose for Emily. 2000. Andover Educational Library. November 4, 2006.
web Knickerbocker, Eric. William Faulkner: The Faded Rose of Emily. March 15, 2003. Mr.
Renaissance. November 4, 2006. web Rankin, Tom. Discovering Faulkner's World. October, 1997. Humanities.
November 4, 2006. web
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