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A comparison of William Faulkners "A Rose For Emily" and Louise Erdrich's "Red Convertible".

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Introduction

A COMPARISON OF WILLIAM FAULKNER'S "A ROSE FOR EMILY" & LOUISE ERDRICH'S "RED CONVERTIBLE" By Miranda Melvin-Self For English Comp II Dr. David Sidore 11 September 00 Every author has the difficult task of trying to bridge an invisible gap between the characters they are creating in their stories, and the audience the author is writing for. In reading William Faulkners "A Rose For Emily" and Louise Erdrichs "Red Convertible," I felt an undeniable connection with the protagonist in each story which I feel is due to my perceived point of the stories. More specifically, I felt that each story was filled with morals and ideals each of us as humans may possess or at least have felt at one time or another in our lives. Each story shows that we all have our breaking points, which lead me to question my own. In "A Rose For Emily," we are introduced to Miss Emily Grierson. She is a woman who embodies the term 'strong-willed' or 'thick-headed.' She is controlled by a father who is equally as strong of the mind, and is forced by him, in life and in death, to lead a life of isolation and confinement. While her father is alive, the reason for confinement is simple. Although Miss Emily has many suitors, no one is good enough in her father's eyes for the fact that he would rather keep her for his own use instead. ...read more.

Middle

Louise Erdrich also made me feel a connection with the protagonist, Lyman, who we discover wants nothing more than to regain the love and persona of a brother that once was before being drafted to war. Lyman and Henry seem to have the perfect sibling relationship. Although they differ in many ways, they enjoy the company of one another immensely, and experience many of life's greatest pleasures together. From buying their first car together, a red convertible, to travelling and exploring the vast, open country side by side. Being a sibling myself, I was able to connect to Lymans dreamy descriptions of his experiences with his older brother, Henry. I experienced a feeling of nostalgia in reading these passages, specifically when Erdrich writes "Some people hang on to details when they travel, but we didn't let them bother us and just lived our everyday lives here to there." (197) It is obvious to me that Lyman has great admiration for his older brother. Never once does he use the words love in reference to Henry, nor does he ever state in spoken words how much he adores his brother....it is simply something that is felt through his words, like a secret, an untold story between Lyman and me. I can relate to these feelings of adoration for an older sibling because I hold the same for mine as well. ...read more.

Conclusion

And watch it plow softly into the water." (203) Lyman reverts back to the one thing that he knows will bring his brother back...the red convertible. And now I am at the point where I question my own beliefs, my own values, and all the things that I treasure most in my life, and I wonder. I wonder where my breaking point is. Mine has certainly not been tested to the point that Lyman's had, but I felt for Lyman the same. I cannot tell myself that I would not do the same, to bring back or to hold onto someone that was so dear to me. Louise Erdrich touched a part of me that I never realized was there. How often do we think about our breaking points until it is in retrospect? And William Faulkner's story is equally the same, comparable to that of Erdrichs story. If I was to lead a life of isolation and confinement, would I think in rational terms if the only love that I were to ever experience was about to walk out of my life? These questions rang in my head over and over again as I read each story. They remain in my mind, sort of hauntingly, but they are welcomed thoughts....I think, and they would not be there if it were not for the moralistic writings of William Faulkner and Louise Erdrich. 1 2 ...read more.

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