A Rose for Emily Literary Theory Paper
Think of a literary theory as a different “lens” to use that enables you to see aspects of a story that may not have been quite as visible before. For example, a Feminist theory requires us to examine a text and analyze how women are portrayed, and to focus on gender roles, assumptions, and inequalities we may see in the text, including stories whose main thematic concerns are not overtly ‘feminist.’ Or, we may employ the Historical theory to better understand social and cultural contexts in the time period in which the story was written or set (for example, the use of racist language on the part of Faulkner’s narrator in “A Rose for Emily”). Another example would be using a Biographical theory to help determine if/how the author’s life and experiences informed the text, and if so, how it can help us better understand the material. Some stories invite the use of more than one literary theory, while other stories may not- but either way, there generally is not “one right answer” when it comes to the choosing and application of these literary theories.
Then, after having read about these theories and applied these different lens to both “The Life You Save May Be Your Own“ and “A Rose for Emily,” respond to the following questions:
Which literary theory (or theories) do you find most useful for better understanding either or both stories, and why?
What did the particular theory you chose help you to “see” or understand, in specific terms, about either story that might not have been as visible to you earlier?