A short story A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner is known to be one of the most famous and most popular among his stories. The author managed to put a lot of different ideas in the short plot of the work. While telling the readers his story, Faulkner describes such issues as “race, gender, and class” (Anderson, n.d., para. 1), adding to his work a great deal of grotesque, irony and some mystery which appears in the last lines of the story. The work centers on the aristocratic woman Emily Grierson, who is one of the most discussed and famous people in the town. Having started with the announcement of her death, the author then reveals the main facts of her life from the point of view of the community of the city. Belonging to the very powerful family, she absorbed all qualities peculiar to it, such as arrogance, dignity and great self confidence. However, at the same time the author underlines her absolute loneliness, making it one of the key points of the story. Another crucial moment is the horrifying discovery of the corpse of her husband and the obvious signs of her lying in the bed with this body.
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Another short story to be analyzed and compared is The Snows of Kilimanjaro by Ernest Hemingway. The plot and the main events seem to be absolutely different from the previous story. The main character, writer Harry is slowly dying from gangrene somewhere in Africa, near the mount Kilimanjaro, with Helen, accompanying him. The plot of the story is made from numerous flashbacks of main character in which he remembers his past full of different and interesting events. These flashbacks represent his thoughts about the peculiarities of human life, bright stories and his regrets about unfinished business. They are opposed to his current state, when he has to die slowly in a very dull place having nothing interesting around. The recognition of this fact makes him suffer even stronger. He suddenly realizes that he did nothing in order to become a writer and he just “has squandered his time and talent” (Miksanek, 2003, para. 4). Being not able to change his life now, he could just be angry and insult Helen, blaming her in his failure to become a writer. His last vision is connected with mount Kilimanjaro. His last breath coincides with the cry of the hyena.
From the first point of view an obvious similarity of the structure of two short stories strikes the readers eye. In both stories flashbacks serve to describe the lives of the protagonists better and to reveal some unknown facts of their biography. However, the difference is in the manner of presentation. The life of Emily is described by the inhabitants of the town, while Harry remembers his life on his own. The reader can draw a parallel between Harrys slow death and Emilys life. She was not living as she was dying slowly, enclosed in her house and loneliness and a gangrene torturing Harry can be compared with her tortures of being alone, imprisoned by herself in the same room with the corpse, having no opportunity to feel herself alive. Harry had a bright life, full of events and impressions, which can be opposed to the monotonous routine of Emily. There is one more common motif in both works. The authors show the reader the price of wasted abilities. No matter how bright mans life was in the end he would deeply regret him not being able to change it greatly and realize his potential.
Anderson, A. (n.d.). A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner: Summary, Theme & Analysis. Web.
Faulkner, W. A Rose for Emily. (1930). Web.
Hemingway, E. The Snows of Kilimanjaro. (1938). Web.
Miksanek, T.(2003). The Snows of Kilimanjaro. Web.