A Rose For Emily and Other Short Stories

Stunning Comparison in Faulkner's A Rose for Emily and Barn Burning

In the words of Oscar Wilde, "The well-bred contradict other people. The wise contradict themselves." Conflict between the "well-bred" people and their "wise" counterparts satiates William Faulkner's short stories "A Rose for Emily" and "Barn Burning." The inability of Emily Grierson in "A Rose for Emily" and Abner Snopes' father in "Barn Burning" to accept and cope with their changing environments leads to an even greater quarrel with their neighbors; in each of Faulkner's stories, this inability escalates into a horrific murder. "A Rose for Emily" and "Barn Burning" are filled with gross contradictions that make conflict unavoidable.

In "A Rose for Emily," different characters hold two opposing views of time itself. The first interpretation of time is that of a "world as present, a mechanical progression" (West 75). The narrator, the new Board of Aldermen, Homer Barron, and the newest generation represent this interpretation. These individuals, holding a new, less restricted point of view, prefer to keep everything set down in books, a practice strongly disapproved of by those who interpret their time as a...

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