A Rose for Emiliy
Uploaded by CaseyP on Jan 08, 2017
Irony in A Rose for Emily and The Story of an Hour
William Faulkner’s book, A Rose for Emily, is an account of the life of Emily Egrierson. Emily’s relationship with her father and the members of Jefferson Town leads the reader to conclude that she is an odd person. The life of Emily seems unusual because she isolates herself from the general population most of the time. In the same vein, Kate Chopin’s novel, The Story of an Hour, is a tale of Loise Mallard, a character that suffers from a heart condition. Mallard's temperament is also eccentric since she starts thinking about a life that is more pleasurable after her husband, Brently Mallard, dies. The theme of irony surfaces in the two books since Emily’s and Loise’s behaviors are highly out of place.
Faulkner brings the idea of irony to the surface in A Rose for Emily where Emily leads a lifestyle that is primarily characterized by isolation. As a young girl, Emily attracted numerous suitors, but her father pushed them away with a whip. This action led Emily to isolate herself even after the demise of her father. Such behavior is ironical because most people would assume that Emily would lead a more social existence after the death of her father because she had many suitors. Furthermore, a paradox surfaces where Emily's family is exempted from paying taxes. After the death of Emily's dad, Colonel Sartoris exempted the Ergrierson family from paying taxes. Such a move can be perceived as illogical since the household did not fulfill its tax obligations to the community. Emily’s assertions support this supposition; she said that she would not pay her taxes after the members of the Board of Aldermen told her that she had tax arrears. This scene presents an ironical situation since all the other town members, except Emily’s household, paid their taxes.
Similarly, the notion of irony is seen in The Story of an Hour after Loise began thinking more positively about life after the death of her husband. After Loise learns about her husband’s death from Josephine, she breaks down in tears and isolates herself in her room. However, she begins to think about the newly found freedom that came with the demise of her spouse. Her husband loved and cared for her, but Loise could not stop thinking about the better, non-restricted life that came with...