Another Rose for Emily: A Critical Comment on Warren's Interpretation

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Whan, YunHee
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서울대학교 인문대학 영어영문학과
영학논집 14(1990): 99-104
horror storyfirmness of will
Most of the criticism on "A Rose for Emily" remains centered around the crucial but still puzzling question: why did Miss Emily murder Homer Barron? In his interpretation of this short story, Robert Penn Warren tries to unravel the pivotal theme by discovering "what may be called a moral significance, a meaning in moral terms-not merely psychological terms," in order to "justify the horror story" which he supposes Faulkner might not have intended. In his endeavour to account for Emily's motivation, he at first notices such idiosyncratic traits as her "lapse of the distinction between illusion and reality" and her "firmness of will and iron pride." Thus he somewhat succeeds in explaining not only the ambiguous distance set between Emily and her community, but the abnormality of her behaviour and the ultimate killing of her first lover/bridegroom. In this context, he proposes the first generally accepted explanation: "Confronted with his jilting her, she tries to override not only his will and the opinion of other people, but the laws of death and decay themselves....She would not be jilted."
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College of Humanities (인문대학)English Language and Literature (영어영문학과)영학논집(English Studies)영학논집(English Studies) No.14 (1990)
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