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Gothic Elements in a Rose for Emily

  • Date Submitted: 08/19/2011 06:20 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 62.9 
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Gothic originally refered to Germanic tribes in Western Europe. Since the 18th century, it began to assert into the field of literature, and became the name of a genre fiction. Gothic literature is always characterized by gloom and mystery and the grotesque.
Countrary to the warm and romantic style of the title, the topic of A Rose for Emily is actually about murder, death, and violence. The greatest characteristic of this novel may be that it’s full of gothic elements. We could find it in the plots, characters, atmosphere and scenes.
Death is the most classical element in gothic fictions, so as to this novel. The story starts off with Emily’s funeral and ends with funeral as well. Death is the main theme that runs through the whole passage. A Rose for Emily is not a long story, however, the writer narrates three deaths in all. They are the death of Emily’s father, Emily and Homer Barron, which does a great help in creating horrible atmosphere.
Another gothic element is the character of Emily. Emily spends her whole life in the “big, squarish frame house”. She seems so mysterious to everyone. From the description of her appearance, it’s known that Emily is bloated, like a corpse long submerged in motionless water. Besides, she often do some strange actions, such as repeating asking the deputation to see Colonel Satoris who’s been dead for almost ten years, refusing to letting people dispose of her father’s dead body, starring at the druggist when she’s buying some poison, and living with Barron’s dead body for years, etc. All these successful gothic narrations make readers feel like waching a dracula movie.
Apart from Emily, the leading role, there is another character----the Negro. The Negro is mentioned several times from the start to the end. He is “an old man-servant--a combined gardener and cook”. And what he has done in this story is just being a servant, admitting guests, buying something, and nothing else. There even isn’t any lines for him. He seems...


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