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Thesis For A Rose For Emily

Thesis for a Rose for Emily

A thesis for A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner is a common term paper or research paper assigned by many English professors at both undergraduate and graduate courses. This essay will focus on the following topics to help you get started on your thesis for A Rose for Emily

  • An overview of A Rose for Emily

  • Sample research question for your Thesis For A Rose For Emily

  • Some sample essay outlines which you can use for your thesis on A Rose for Emily

An overview of A Rose for Emily

A Rose for Emily is written by William Faulkner who is considered as one of the best writers of the 20th century. William Faulkner's books are all famous for highlighting the historical legacies of the South, its present violent state of affairs (during the times of the author), and its rather uncertain future.

List of important characters along with a brief introduction to each one of them – Here are some of the important characters in A Rose for Emily:

Emily Grierson – This character is an eccentric recluse whose personality has changed from that of an effervescent young girl to that of a secretive and cloistered old lady. She is pitied by the people of her town for having lost her beloved father and being all alone in this world. Her father had rejected a string of suitors who had come asking for her hand in marriage and today, she was alone and desolate thirsting for the elusive love in her life. Tobe, her servant, is the only lifeline she has to the outside world.

Homer Barron – He is a foreman with a loud booming voice and cheery disposition who has moved to this town from the North. He develops a love interest in Emily and takes her out every Sunday. Despite his gregarious and loving nature, the townspeople have given him a certificate of 'not a good choice for a mate' because he was very poor. He is killed by Emily and his body lies in her home.

Judge Stevens – A sensitive man in his eighties and the mayor of the town, he is very concerned about maintaining Emily's and her family's erstwhile pride and high position in the community. He chooses to handle the complaints of bad odor emanating from Emily's house sensitively and even goes to the extent of sprinkling lime on her property in the night to keep the odor at bay.

Mr. Grierson – He has a looming and controlling presence over the entire community and especially over his daughter, Emily. He thwarts all attempts to get Emily married because he wants to control her and her life.

Plot Overview ­– The story traces the life of Emily Grierson as she changes from a sprightly young lass to an old, eccentric women desperately holding on to the last vestiges of pride and arrogance of her old, aristocratic family last seen in the controlling personality of her father. The story starts with her death, goes back and forth in her lifetime discussing her scandalous outings with Homer, her legal battles with the new leaders of the town who want her to pay her father's death taxes which were waived by a former mayor on account of a huge sum of money that her father had given to the town, and other such episodes.

Sample research question for your Thesis for A Rose for Emily

Emily Grierson is a bizarre character in this book. She is totally eccentric, had withdrawn herself from the outside world and she is trapped in her own delusional world. She definitely exhibits telltale signs of one or more psychiatric disorders. If you closely examined her interactions with people and society, you can diagnose Emily with a mental disorder. You can develop this idea and write your thesis on this aspect of Emily Grierson.

Either directly or indirectly, the entire town of Jefferson is working to protect Emily and the town from the stigma and shame of Emily's eccentric and strange behavior. You can examine the behavior and attitude of the other townspeople mentioned in the book and discuss this topic in your thesis. You can examine the following elements:

  • The denial of the townsfolk about even the existence of Emily's problems

  • How the townspeople are investing to save and protect their identity by protecting Emily's and her family's reputation

  • You can also discuss the point wherein although the people's behavior is dysfunctional, it is also adaptive in nature

The book contains a macrocosmic setting of the traditional South in the town of Jefferson and a microcosmic setting of the same traditional South within Emily's home. Both these settings are critical in laying bare the psychological landscape of the narrative. You can compare and contrast these two settings and create a thesis on this topic.

An interesting technique used by the author is to employ an anonymous narrator in his book. The author interestingly uses 'we' to describe the feelings of the townspeople and their suspicions about Emily. In your thesis, you can discuss about this interesting narrative technique by closely examining the texts and the dialogues.

One of the very few people who are in touch with Emily is the old African-American help. Though he never speaks, his role is critical to the development of the plot of the story. He is constantly questioned about the happenings inside the house; but, he never discusses Emily private behavior with anyone. You can write a thesis on this character by speculating on the reasons for his secrecy or how his character helps in taking the story forward.

Some sample essay outlines which you can use for your thesis on A Rose for Emily

William Faulker uses the characters in the story to explain the changes and progress that are taking place in the South during that time. He uses characters such as Emily's controlling father, Emily and her change from a vibrant young girl to an old eccentric, Judge Stevens who does everything in his power to deny the existence of the bad odor, and more. The author is using these characters to explain the larger changes happening in the Southern society. Here is a sample outline for a thesis under this topic:

Thesis Statement –William Faulkner employs specific characters and their changing personalities to discuss the larger issues that are threatening to take the old and traditional Southern culture by its horns. Through the story, the author is warning the old southerners that if they do not accept and embrace change, they are doomed.

Part I

The South is deeply bound by tradition and history – Here you can talk about the influences and affects of social rank and class. You can also discuss roles of titles such as "Miss" or "Colonel."

The issues of race – Here you can discuss episodes of Tobe, Colonel Sartoris' edict on 'negro women,' Judge Steven's hesitation and refusal in talking directly to Emily (who was a lady) about the foul smell, the expectations of young women and their choice on marriage, marriage within classes and tribes.

Sexual relationships – Here you can discuss how the townspeople find the weekly buggy rides that Homer Barron takes Emily on scandalous and unforgiving. The people believe that marriage and sexual relationships are meant to happen only after getting due approval from the men of the respective families and within the same class. The people of Jefferson do everything in their power to prevent the marriage of Emily and Homer because of their beliefs that it would be scandalous for her to marry and have sexual relationships with someone beneath her class and rank.

Part II

Emily is bound by the traditions of the South. Here, you can discuss the influence of her father and how she is bound by his decisions with regard to marriage. She couldn't protest when her father chose to drive away all the men who wanted to marry her. You can discuss the pressure of the ladies under this powerful influence of the men in the family.

Final Notes

A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner is rife with plots, subplots, varying time periods, and wildly vacillating characters. The work is so rich that there will never be a dearth of topics to write a thesis on. You will find the reading of the book fascinating too as the characters appear real and easy to relate to.

Even though, the restrictions that existed then sound bizarre and unreal today, you can relate to the agony and pain of a loveless life that Emily led borne down by traditions and conventions that seem too deep-rooted to be easily thrown off. I can assure you that writing a thesis on A Rose for Emily can be quite a revelation for you as a student as you learn and understand the working of the society during those times.

Do not hesitate to call Prescott Papers for all your academic writing and editing needs including but not limited to custom essays, dissertations, research paper, thesis, and more. We will be happy to help and guide you through any of the stages of the writing and editing process.

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