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Emily Grierson’s Need For Control in Faulkner’s A Rose for Emily

Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily,” illustrates the evolution of a small, post-Civil War community, as the new generation of inhabitants replaces the pre-Civil War ideals with more modern ideas. At the center of the town is Emily Grierson, the only remaining remnant of the upper class Grierson family, a “Southern gentlewoman unable to understand how much the world has changed around her.” (Kazin, 2). This essay will focus on Emily Grierson and her attempts to control change after her father’s death.

Emily’s need to control change is first evidenced through her relationship with her father. Their bond, based on a high-class aristocratic ideal system, lasted until the death of her father. A mental image of Mr. Grierson’s relationship with Emily is painted by the narrator, who “speaks for his community” (Rodman, 3), as “Miss Emily…in the background, her father…in the foreground, his back to her and clutching a horsewhip, the two of them framed by the back-flung front door.” Mr. Grierson’s position between Emily and the area outside the house prevents anyone from entering the house or leaving the house. Bullwhip in hand, Emily’s father fends off any would-be husbands because, as Dennis W. Allen states, “no suitor is ‘good enough for Mrs. Emily’” (689). Allen goes on to say that “Mr. Grierson stands between his daughter and the outside world…. Emily’s romantic involvements are limited to an incestuous fixation on her father.” (689). This incestuous relationship, though not implicitly stated, is highly probable since the only male that she loves is her father. This special bond reveals itself after the death of Emily’s father. According to the speaker, “When her father died, it got about that the house was all that …

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Kazin, Alfred. Bright Book of Life. Boston: Little Brown Company, 1973.

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Rodman, Isaac. “Irony and Isolation: Narrative Distance in Faulkner’s ‘A Rose for Emily.'” Faulkner Journal 8.2 (Spring 1993): 3-12.

Schwab, Milinda. “A Watch for Emily.” Studies in Short Fiction 28.2 (Spring 1991): 215-17.

Light and Dark in Apocalypse Now and Heart of Darkness

Light and Dark in Apocalypse Now and Heart of Darkness

In Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, Marlow chooses a brighter path than his counterpart in Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, Capt. Willard. The two share in the duty of searching for and discovering Kurtz, as well as taking care of his memory, but their beliefs before encountering him place the characters at opposing ends of a theme. These opposing ends are light and dark, representing good and evil.

In the opening pages of Heart of Darkness, Marlow begins telling a tale of himself as nothing more than a sailor, who had a taste for adventure and saw the navigation of a river in such a distant and mysterious place as the Congo as a chance to find it. Capt. Willard however, had “prayed for a mission, and for [his] sins they gave [him] one”(AP). Marlow’s disposition at the beginning of this journey is that of a bored young man, trying to fill his time: a noble and societally acceptable existence. Capt. Willard is beyond the bounds of normal society as he begins narrating Apocalypse Now from his hotel room in Saigon. He explains: “When I was here [at the war] I wanted to be there [back home]. When I was there all I could think of was getting back into the jungle”(AP). Willard is outside of society but is hanging on slightly by his connection to the Army. This connection is a weak one, because of the nature of war and the fact that in war the laws of normal society are not applicable. Kurtz though, has taken the final step by breaking away from the army; “he broke from them, and then he broke from himself. I’d never seen a man so broken up and ripped apart”(AP). Willard doesn’t even know if he will oppose Kurtz when he meets him, because he sees Kurtz in himself…

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…v099B/fa/n022/a-e-apocalypse-fortmeyer.html created 1994 (accessed 23 Jan. 2000).

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Watts, Cedric. Conrad’s Heart of Darkness: A Critical and Contextual Discussion. Milan: Mursia International, 1977.

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