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Southern Stories Revelation of the Intrigues of Classism and Racism
The two stories, William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily and Flannery O'Connor's A Good Man is hard to find are southern literature. Southern literature share common elements such as family focus, racial issues, classism and justice among others. Faulkner is one frequently mentioned writer especially in relation to the Renaissance movement during the 1930s. A Nobel Prize winner he is a significant figure in the history of the south. Faulkner witnessed the challenges that the South faced during his time and more so the discrimination against the African-Americans and the reluctance of the political establishment to embrace change. As much as he was not vocal on these issues, he used perspectivism as a tool against these issues and to point at the erosion of the southern hospitality that gave the family and community priority over the individual. He is bold in addressing social injustices against the people from the North and the African-Americans. Just like Faulkner, Flannery O'Connor was also a writer from the Renaissance movement. However, unlike Faulkner, who detailed the panoramic past of the South, O'Connor used a religious perspective in her works. In most of her works, there are elements of spiritual beliefs and religion, as well as the inconsistency between faith and nature of human beings as evident in A Good Man is hard to find. Both stories, A Rose for Emily and A Good Man is Hard to Find, are typical of gothic stories that bear elements such as the use of crime and horror, to pass the underlying message, they however differ in the way O'Connor creates her characters as ridiculously and idiotic.
Examining Faulkner's story A Rose for Emily, the author uses suspense and irony to attract the reader's attention and focusing it to the issues surrounding Emily. First, the story is titled A Rose for Emily but makes no mention of rose anywhere. This tittle contradicts the characterization of Emily. One would think of the title as suggesting that Emily was given real flowers, but in the actual sense, there is no mention of rose in the text title is figurative. The tittle is figurative pointing more at the feelings the author has towards the main character, Emily. A picture is painted of her as an object; she would rather live on her own terms than conform to outside pressures. The author pities her as her ways eventually leads to her death. The author through the tittle sends a message of condolence or a tribute to her, as he begins by description of her funeral "When Miss Emily Grierson died, our whole town went to her funeral: the men through a sort of respectful affection for a fallen monument..." (Faulkner 484) he proceeds by mentioning that "…the women mostly out of curiosity to see the inside of her house..." (Faulkner 484) which is a clear indication that something had happened that shocked or was of interest to the towns people. In A Good Man is hard to find, the tittle is repeated over and over in the text. It also seems as though every time the phrase is used, the meaning changes, O'Connor's tittle is considered ironic. Grandmother as the main character of the story thinks of a good man as the person who is ready to assist her. During her encounter with the convict, she repeats "You've got good blood!" (1151) she was hoping that this would solicit mercy. In addition, a good man to grandmother was representative of the typical white Southerner with a common cultural value. This however differs with the convict's reference of a good man; he says that "I never was a bad boy that I remember of" (1151), his interpretation represents the religious perspective of a good man, one who had never done anything contrary to what was expected.
In addition, in Faulkner's A Rose for Emily, the town's people look at Emily as a tradition for she is ever the same; she is impervious to change despite the changes around her. Instead, she holds on fast to the past, symbolized by her cutting of her hair. In addition, she refuses to pay her taxes insisting on business as usual in Jefferson "See Colonel Sartories, I have no taxes in…[continue]
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