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Loneliness in William Faulkner’s A Rose For Emily and Anton Chekhov’s Misery

Loneliness in William Faulkner’s A Rose For Emily and Anton Chekhov’s Misery

Although the authors, setting, and time period of each story is unique, the character of Miss Emily in “A Rose For Emily” by William Faulkner and Iona in “Misery” by Anton Chekhov share much in common. Iona and Emily spent their entire lives searching for fulfillment. At the end of their lives they are still lonely souls – never achieving fulfillment.

It is so terrible with “A Rose For Emily,” the horrible feelings come up immediately when the story ends with two dead bodies in the old and dirty house. One is Homer Barron, Emily’s lover. The other is Emily herself. What a pity for a woman like Emily. No, Emily is not really a woman. She is just a child (or a daughter). Since being born, her life was framed strictly by her selfish father.” Miss Emily, a slender figure in white in the background, her father a large silhouette in the foreground, his back to her and clutching a horsewhip, the two of them framed by the back-flung front door.” Miss Emily could not find her own real life. And then her father died. Everyone in town was very pleased that Emily might have a chance to be happy from then on. But very shortly after the shock of her father’s death, Emily had another shock when her sweetheart left her alone and went away. Nobody was expecting that. Poor Emily! She was just a little girl having no experience over thirty years of age. Homer, the young man that everyone believed would marry her, was just a liar, as well. And as a result, Emily killed Homer and lay beside his dead body for years. At the age of forty, Emily was still a child — an old child with loneliness and unfulfilled soul.

William Faulkner introduces the story with the gathering of the whole town at Emily’s death. The author marks a big curious question for all readers. What happened and how? Then he goes back to the past of Miss Emily, leading us to travel around the closed time circle of her life: present back to past and past to present. This is an unusual order. The normal time order consists the progression of the human being from birth through youth, to age and final death. The confusion that Faulkner has given produces a confusion in Emily’s life.

Revenge and Vengeance in Shakespeare’s Hamlet

Revenge in Hamlet

Shakespeare’s Hamlet is largely coordinated by connections, parallelisms and contrasts between intermingled families.

In the play we see two families who are victims, as well as perpetrators, of revenge. The Polonius family is significant in key scenes and also in the language that the family members use.

The theme of revenge is central to the play and there are four “cases” of revenge – three involving “living” characters: Fortinbras, Laertes and Hamlet, and one which is a Classical legend which was the greatest symbol of secular disaster in the Renaissance world, the story of the destruction of Troy and the revenge of Phyrrus, for the death of his father, Achilles, on Priam, the Trojan King. Hamlet’s choice of speech for the Player King, is no accident. The revenge/family motif of the Trojan conflict was well known to the Shakespearean audience.

The two “court” families, one Royal and the other in Royal service, are linked initially by Hamlet’s love for Ophelia, but as the play develops, these links become more complex and more sinister, until there is a mortal collision which results in death and multiple tragedy.

There is antagonism between Polonius and Hamlet from the outset, as Hamlet sees himself as a victim of Polonius’s support of Claudius as King. This adds to the sense of betrayal which he already feels as a result of his mother’s actions. Polonius is keen to preserve his position and also displays a mistrust of Hamlet’s intentions towards his daughter, forbidding her to see the prince and later using her as bait to ingratiate himself further to Claudius by proving that Hamlet’s madness is the result of love. The exchanges between the two are characterised by a tension o…

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…e is articulate even in madness, and retains a gentleness which causes even Claudius to show compassion for her suffering. She has very little power or autonomy and her role as a constant and forsaken lover is one of great poignancy.

Laertes is forceful, ruthless and manipulated by Claudius. He too is a rival of Hamlet and linked to the prince in his love for his sister. He is protective of Ophelia and sees Hamlet as dangerous. there is also an implied rivalry of some standing between Laertes and Hamlet which is revealed in Claudius’s speech about Lamord, the Frenchman. Laertes is passionate and ferocious in his defense of his family’s honor. The “hugger-mugger” burial of his father and the sparse rites accorded his sister provoke passionate denunciations from him. He is also honorable and manages to redeem himself in his forgiveness of Hamlet before his death.

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