comparison essay on “A Rose For Emily”

A Rose for Emily A Rose for Emily is a story of a girl who was mistreated and damaged by her father. The story, written by William Faulkner depicts the painful life of a girl, Emily under the care of her hostile father and a society that did not care. The story was written at a time when the South was undergoing an important transition from the traditional agricultural society to an industrialized society. Whereas most of the family that is depicted in the story underwent the transition in a smooth manner, Emily did not enjoy her life. Her father did not want her to get married and felt that there was no man suitable for her. After his death, Emily fell in love with a man from the north, but the marriage life was not smooth. The story brings out the themes of traditions versus change, the power of death and discrimination in a well-articulated manner. In 1983, a film based on the story was produced. However, the overall message of the film is less effective than the main story. This paper is a comparison of the movie and the story. It is based on the thesis that the original story is more effective than the film in bringing out the intended themes of the story of Emily. One of the major observation from watching the movie is that the production of the movie is very effective in carrying the Southern Gothic theme that has been described in the story. From the story, one needs to have a background knowledge of the southern traditions to create the setting of the story in mind. Although the writer of the story effectively brings out the basics of the setting, it requires better knowledge of the culture and traditions of the South to create the mind picture. The film is very effective in bridging this gap by recreating the setting and helping the viewer understand better the traditional themes of the story. However, the film does not completely recreate the 1930 setting. The attachment that a reader of the original story has to the main story lacks in the film. The story effectively creates the suspense required for the reader to become attached to the story from the beginning until the end. Until the resolution of the story, the reader does not understand the crime 2 committed by Emily to warrant her leaving her home. This suspense creates and reveals the gothic horror scenarios of the story. The film embarks on placing the story’s plot in chronological order. When this happens, the ending of the story is expected, and the element of suspense lacks in the film. Besides the lack of suspense, the elements of surprise, whereby the viewer would be treated to situations that create feelings of something terribly wrong about to happen have been nullified in the film. The flatness of the film makes it ineffective in creating the attitude and the feeling of the story. In an attempt to bring out about racial discrimination, and the traditional versus change, the story uses the scenes where Emily deals sexually with men, thus creating the climate of error and misfortunes. The film removes all such specific scenes thus impoverishing the themes of the story. Secondly, the story is authentic in creating the southern environment by referring directly to the town of Jefferson. The film, on the other hand, leaves all the towns nameless and this destroys the earlier expected originality and authenticity which would arise if names were left unchanged in addition to the gothic themes. Thirdly, other than the obvious visual cues depicting racial tension, all other instances where the author of the story seeks to use the readers’ comprehension to create the tension are lost in the film. The story A Rose for Emily is a very articulate story as written by the author. The authorship qualities are well-demonstrated in the themes that the author chooses and how he characterize and symbolize them throughout the story. The creation of the film would have contributed more on this depiction and make the readers and the viewers in a better touch with the author’s motifs and themes. However, the film has intentionally left out major symbols and scenes that support the intended themes and created a rather shallow story. Anyone who has read the story would be treated to a weak version of the same when watching the film. This is simply because the film is not effective enough in bringing out the themes that the author of the story intended.

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