Rose Emily Essays Topics

Impressive Topics For Creating A Good Essay On Rose For Emily

So you've finally finished reading William Faulkner's classic short story A Rose for Emily and you probably feel like you have a good grasp of what it was all about on various levels of understanding. However, that doesn't necessarily mean you have a clue as to what topic you should choose to create that showstopper of an essay you need to write.

If that is the case, there's no need to worry! There is an abundance of topics you can choose from, so here are just a few to get you thinking:

  • How would the story differ if Faulkner hadn't written A Rose for Emily in a multiple first person narratives?
  • Compare Faulkner's use of first person plural pronouns to the narratives used in Greek tragedies.
  • What impact does the non-chronological structure have on reading A Rose for Emily?
  • How does Faulkner use the themes of change and decay to relate to the various happenings of the characters in the book?
  • How is the social structure of the American South intertwined in the narrative and what affect did this subject have on readers when the story was first published?
  • Exploring the symbolism of Miss Emily's house.
  • How does A Rose for Emily act as a reactionary piece to the popular reconciliation genre of the time?
  • How does the town of Jefferson act as a microcosm for the early twentieth century deep South?
  • What influence did Miss Emily's father have in the way she conducted her life?
  • What part does Tobe, the manservant play in the proceedings of the story?
  • Discuss the social pressures of marrying a southern gentleman in the early twentieth century American South.
  • Faulkner famously said, “Humanity will endure.” Discuss how this relates to the characters in the story.
  • Why did the townspeople seem unfazed by Miss Emily's odd statement towards the visitors on the day after her father's funeral?
  • Is this Faulkner short story a good example of Southern Gothic fiction?
  • Despite Faulkner's use of the third person narrative, it can often feel like the reader is experiencing the story from a particular townsperson's point of view. Why is this?

Just several ideas to get you started. When coming up with your own essay title, make sure it's something that you can engage with, feel as though you have a good understanding of and can write about informatively. Good luck!

Topic #1

Faulkner uses “A Rose for Emily” to address themes of change and progress, especially as it relates to the American South. Although he describes particular individuals within Jefferson (Miss Emily, the older men and ladies, the town leaders), he seems to be using them as symbols for the larger issues that the South was facing at the turn of the twentieth century. Write a paper that discusses how Faulkner addresses the themes of progress and change in the South. Is he a traditionalist, hoping for the South to retain its old ways? Or is he critical of the South for holding on to its traditions?

I. Thesis Statement: William Faulkner uses “A Rose for Emily” to comment on how the South, at its own peril, is refusing to accept the inevitability of historical and social change. If the South does not adopt to the changing times, it will die a lonely, perverse death like Miss Emily.

II. The South as a region “bound” by history and tradition
A. The influences of class and social rank
1. The role of titles such as “Colonel” and “Miss”
2. The town’s perception of Miss Emily’s house
a. Was once located near “august” names
B. The issues of race
1. Tobe, the manservant
2. Colonel Sartoris’s edict regarding “Negro women”
C. Sexual relations
1. Judge Stevens’s refusal to address Miss Emily, a “lady,” directly regarding “the smell”
2. The expectations of marriage for young women
a. Marriage within social class
b. Marriage within “the tribe” (i.e., southern, white, gentility)

III. Miss Emily as a woman “bound” by the South's tradition
A. The influence of the father of Miss Emily
1. “All the young men her father had driven away”
2. “She would have clung to that which had robbed her”
B. The pressures of the “town ladies”
1. “Noblesse oblige”
2. The pressures of marrying a Southern gentleman

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