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A Rose For Emily Compared to Shiloh Essay


Compare and Contrast

In both stories- Shiloh, written by Bobbie Ann Mason and A Rose for Emily written by William Faulkner; the main characters go through major changes in their lives. In the story Shiloh, Norma Jean, the main character, is a typical housewife, she keeps the fire burning well in the house and always entertains Leroy, her husband, after he gets home from his long trucking trips. She is so used to doing this that she doesnt realize that she is not happy. It is so second nature to her that when she enrolled in a night class at college she found herself writing essays about casseroles.

After fifteen years on the road, Leroy seems like a stranger to Norma Jean, he likes to lay on the couch and smoke joints and listen to Norma Jean play the piano, this is his entertainment for being away so long. Norma Jeans doesnt believe that Leroy or anybody for that matter understands her anymore. She started to improve her body physically and started eating healthy and enrolled in a night class. She clashes with her mother, Maybell, who still treats her like a child, and also doesnt understand the changes going on in Norma Jeans life. Maybell caught Norma Jean smoking which made Norma Jean realize that she was not a child anymore and she was a woman and she didnt deserve to be treated like she did and realized that even before her mother caught her smoking that she was not happy. She then tells Leroy that she wants to leave him. She transformed from a stunted housewife to a fully independent woman. This change made Norma Jean stronger because she spoke her mind and accomplished her goal, which was to be independent.

In the story A Rose For Emily, Emily, the main character struggles with her fathers death. She doesnt want to accept change in her life; she wants everything to stay the same, almost like it is frozen in time. Members of the board in Jefferson County visited Emily about not paying her taxes. She stated that she was not required to pay taxes in Jefferson county and if they had any questions they could speak with Colonel Sartoris, who had now been dead for over a decade at this time. Its as if she doesnt accept that people are gone and believes that nothing changes. She meets a man named Homer Barron and poisons him with arsenic that she was allowed to purchase without reasoning. The townspeople think that Homer and Emily are getting married and he is up North awaiting her move to join him. He is really sealed in the second story of her house with his suite for the wedding still laid out and he is lying in the bed, which he has laid in for 40 years after his death, along with Emily. She preserved the room in the same state that she wanted it to stay in forever. Homers body was in an advanced decay and there was an indentation on the pillow that lied next to him with long strands of Emilys hair. Homer was preserved like a rose in a book, hence the title of the story.

The rejection of change shown by Emily clearly shows that change does not make her stronger, yet weaker. She grew plump and gray in the house that she stayed trapped in for forty years. The death of Emilys father led to why she wanted to preserve homer because she could not accept death and wanted things in her life to freeze in time so she could hold onto them forever.

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