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Past Contrasted with Present in Faulkner’s A Rose for Emily

Past Contrasted with Present in Faulkner’s A Rose for Emily

In “A Rose for Emily”, Faulkner contrasted the past with the present era. The past was represented in Emily herself, in Colonel Sartoris, in the old Negro servant, and in the Board of Alderman who accepted the Colonel’s attitude toward Emily and rescinded her taxes.

The present was expressed chiefly through the words of the unnamed narrator. The new Board of Aldermen, Homer Barron (the representative of Yankee attitudes toward the Griersons and thus toward the entire South), and in what is called “the next generation with its more modern ideas” all represented the present time period (Norton Anthology, 2044). Miss Emily was referred to as a “fallen monument” in the story (Norton Anthology, 2044). She was a “monument” of Southern gentility, an ideal of past values but fallen because she had shown herself susceptible to death (and decay). The description of her house “lifting its stubborn and coquettish decay above the cotton wagons and the gasoline pumps–an eyesore among eyesores” represented a juxtaposition of the past and present and was an emblematic presentation of Emily herself (Norton Anthology, 2044).

The house smells of dust and disuse and has a closed, dank smell. A description of Emily in the following paragraph discloses her similarity to the house. “She looked bloated like a body long submerged in motionless water, and of that palled hue” (Norton Anthology, 2045). But she had not always had that appearance. In the picture of a young Emily with her father, she was frail and apparently hungering to participate in the life of the era. After her father’s death, she looked like a girl “with a vague resemblance to those angels in colored church windows–sort of tragic and serene” (Norton Anthology, 2046). This suggests that she had already begun her entrance into the nether-world.

By the time the representatives of the new, progressive Board of Aldermen waited on her concerning her delinquent taxes, she had already completely retreated to her world of the past. She declared that she had no taxes in Jefferson, basing her belief on a verbal agreement made with Colonel Sartoris, who had been dead for ten years. Just as Emily refused to acknowledge the death of her father, she now refused to recognize the death of Colonel Sartoris. He had given his word and according to the traditional view, his word knew no death.

Power of Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

The Effective Story in Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Harriet Beecher Stowe, a northern abolitionist, published her best-selling novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin in 1852. Uncle Tom’s Cabin contracts the many different attitudes that southerners as well as northerners shared towards slavery. Generally, it shows the evils of slavery and the cruelty and inhumanity of the peculiar institution, in particular how masters treat their slaves and how families are torn apart because of slavery.

The novel centers around a pious slave, Uncle Tom, and how he is sold over and over again. It shows the different attitudes that Tom’s masters share about slavery, and how their slaves should be treat. It also teaches Christian values as well as family values. At the time of its publication, Uncle Tom’s Cabin was an immediate success and one of biggest sellers of all time. Despite the fact that Stowe induces her own personal opinions, with the very little experience she has had with slaves, she delivers a magnificent novel which is still enjoyed by many modern readers today. The time of her novel’s publication was very important. It was published at the peak of the abolitionist movement, in the 1850’s. It proved to be very effective propaganda for the abolitionist cause, which Stowe openly supported.

Stowe is trying to prove to the reader that slavery is wrong and nothing short of evil and cruel. She does an effective job at proving her point, while delivering a superb novel at the same time. Stowe is constantly tying to prove that slavery is evil. She opens the novel, by showing two slave owners, making a business deal. Mr. Shelby is in debt to Haley, so he must sell Uncle Tom and Harry, tearing them apart from their families. Stowe shows a young slave woman, Eliza and her affection for her son Harry, when she decides to take her son and run away. This disputes the common belief of the time that slaves mothers has less affection for their youth than white women. Uncle Tom is sold again to the carefree Augustine St. Clare whos philosophy is “Why save time or money, when there’s plenty of both?” Uncle Tom receives good treatment at the St. Clare’s, which proves that the novel is not one-sided, showing that their where kind slave owners. However Uncle Tom is sold again, this time up the Red River to the “devil” Simon Legree.

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