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Analysis of short stories A Rose for Emily and A House of Flesh

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Introduction

Analysis of short stories "A Rose for Emily" and "A House of Flesh" Quazi Mohammad Faisal "A Rose for Emily" and "A House of Flesh" - these two are two contrasting short stories written by two different writers from two different times. "A Rose for Emily" is written by William Faulkner (published in 1931) and the plot is set in an American city during the later part of the 19th and earlier part of the 20th century. On the other hand, "A House of Flesh" is written by famous Egyptian writer Yussef Idriss where the plot is set in Egypt during the latter half of the 20th century. Though the contexts of both stories are entirely different, some elements are there that shares some similarity. Like, the protagonists of both the stories are socially stranded and all the events of the stories take place in their houses which is surrounded by mystery. "A Rose for Emily" is the story of Emily Grierson, a black woman living in Faulkner's fictional city, Jefferson, Mississippi in the fictional county of Yoknapatawpha County. She lives in a once-elegant, upscale neighborhood where her house has become a topic of curiosity for the dwellers of the city. She uses to live a recluse life and barely interact with the neighbors or other people from society. ...read more.

Middle

The situation is little different in the other house. Technically, there are four women and so they should not be alone. But if we follow the narration of the story we don't really see the existence of the bond of sisters or the bond of mother-daughter. Despite they all live together, their lives are hardly interconnected. It is also notable that the significant male characters in the stories have actually been dominated by their female counterparts. Homer Barron becomes the victim of Emily where the blind muqri has been used or may be abused by the mother and daughters. Secondly, the house stands as an important symbol in both the stories. Emily's house is a monument in the city, just like herself. It is the subject of the intense, controlling gaze of the narrator and residents of Jefferson. Emily's house represents the alienation and mental sickness. What happens inside the house is a mystery to the outsiders. But whatever happens, the town people get the feeling something is not right about it. It's only Emily's death that releases their chance to gain access to the forbidden realm and confirm what has occurred inside. On the contrast, the house of "A House of Flesh" is not a monumental establishment as Emily's house. It's situated somewhere in an Egyptian slum and people around do not really care what goes inside that tiny one roomed house. ...read more.

Conclusion

For instance, year after year Emily's living with a dead man does not only shows the mental misbalance, it could also be seen as the practice of exorcism. On the contrary, "A House of Flesh" does not depict any such practice of supernatural spirits. But it shows practice of adultery and incest which is a major violation of social ethics and values. Both the story presents the dark side of human nature that is simply not acceptable according to our social values. It is also notable that the power of death plays important role in both the stories. "A Rose for Emily" starts with the death of Emily and also tells about the death of her father and finally reveals the death of Home Barron. With each death the story unfolds its mystery a little. Similarly, "A House of Flesh" starts with the death of the father. There is no death that follows after but that death paved the way to put light on the darker side of the family. "A Rose for Emily" and "A House of Flesh"- they are little masterpieces from the writers of two very different backgrounds. But what is adorable about both the stories is their openness and flexibility. The possibilities for interpretation of them are endless, and it inspires very creative interpretations, in large part because of their unconventional style. In fact, both the stories have something for just about everyone. ...read more.

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