Power Struggles in "A Rose for Emily" and "Desiree's Baby" Comparison Essay

Power Struggles in "A Rose for Emily" and "Desiree's Baby"
An analysis of the theme of power struggles in two short fiction stories "A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner and "Desiree's Baby" by Kate Chopin.
# 154050 | 912 words | 0 sources | 2014 | US
Published on Oct 26, 2014 in English (Analysis) , English (Comparison) , English (General)

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From the Paper:

"Throughout literature, authors often attempt to indirectly express a particular point or message within the story at hand. Such messages are usually consistent throughout the work. One theme, that the struggle for control is a needless battle, can be found in at least two classic short fiction stories. A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner and Desiree's Baby by Kate Chopin both contain characters whose struggles for control ultimately sabotage the happiness they could otherwise achieve.
"The struggle for control is consistently prevalent throughout A Rose for Emily. The story's main character, Emily Grierson, is the daughter of a wealthy man that had made a substantial town donation prior to his passing. In thanks for this generosity, the town mayor suspends Emily of her tax responsibilities after her father's death. As years pass and new town officials are elected, the town no longer agrees that Emily should be exempt from paying taxes. Emily, however, enforces her own set of law and conduct by adamantly refusing to pay. This insistence on control over authority is a dominant trait of Emily's character. She constantly asserts control over herself and others by intentionally limiting and manipulating the world's knowledge of her true identity. By remaining indoors at all times and communicating with only a handful of people, Emily is able to keep the entire town wondering. Emily's obsession with control likely stems from her late father's overly protective parenting. Throughout his daughter's adolescence, Mr. Grierson would turn away all of her potential suitors. The narrator points out, "We remembered all the young men her father had driven away, and we knew that with nothing left, she would have to cling to that which had robbed her, as people will," (Faulkner). Cling to that which robbed her she did, as Emily got her first taste of control when her father passed and she left the body in the house with her for several days. In doing so, she practiced a bit of control over the man who had controlled her life for so long. His overbearing nature left Emily unmarried and with little chance of ever becoming so, causing her to become lonely and reclusive. This mix of personality traits isolates Emily from society and proves to work against her ultimate goal of achieving true love. She kills Homer, the only man she ever loved, and keeps him in her home to ensure that he can never leave her, controlling him in the most extreme way possible."

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Power Struggles in "A Rose for Emily" and "Desiree's Baby" (2014, October 26) Retrieved April 12, 2024, from https://www.academon.com/comparison-essay/power-struggles-in-a-rose-for-emily-and-desiree-baby-154050/

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"Power Struggles in "A Rose for Emily" and "Desiree's Baby"" 26 October 2014. Web. 12 April. 2024. <https://www.academon.com/comparison-essay/power-struggles-in-a-rose-for-emily-and-desiree-baby-154050/>