In “A Rose For Emily” and “That Evening Sun” by William Faulkner, symbolism is used often and quite well. The symbolism used compares certain objects, metaphors, and sayings to environmental and social problems in the real world. Although a book is fiction, it can really relate things to the real world and shine a light upon those problems. As well as this, they may provide solutions to such problems. The symbols provided in each book can symbolize multiple things in themselves.
Faulkner uses Emily’s house in “A Rose For Emily”, the ditch in “That Evening Sun”, and uses them in unique, similar, and creative ways making them easy to compare. In “A Rose For Emily”, Faulkner uses the house a symbol of the American South in the following years of the Civil War. Emily’s house also could serve as a symbol of how, in that time period, the infrastructure of the American South was based upon slave labor. Although these are the basis of what the house represents, it much more shows the power of the society in which she lives. This society gave Emily no other option but to assume and progress through the roles of daughter, wife, and finally, mother. This society made her feel like she never had another path other than so. This is similar in today’s society; people like to put others into a place in which the people think they fit and function greatly in.
In “That Evening Sun”, Faulkner again uses symbolism in a unique way. He uses the ditch in the story to symbolize racism and segregation in the south. In the story Nancy constantly has to cross the ditch to get to the house at which she works and cleans. The homeowners were a white family and Nancy was black. This makes the symbolism much more clear than before. The ditch between the two houses represents the line people drew between whites and blacks. The two ethnicities wanted nothing to do with one another. In today’s society, the line between races is erased, but to an extent. There is much less profiling and racism; however, there are still select people which are like this, but it is shamed upon more now.
In the two short stories, Faulkner uses symbolism in different styles and ways, being able to switch up his writing from time to time. In some ways, though, these examples can be considered one in the same. One similarity between the two would be that both symbols have one thing to do with society and how it views people. A difference would be maybe that one shows us what society thinks about certain individual people versus the other being about a set group or race. Another similarity is that both symbolize a problem within not only the past, but also in today’s ongoing and everyday society.
To finish, many things you may not notice are symbols, but once you realize them, they can become a deep meaning to you or any other individual. Faulkner uses his symbols in a subtle way and as they begin to get noticed, they hold an impact on several social and environmental problems.. In “A Rose For Emily”, he tries to show that society holds people to a high standard and expectation. In “That Evening Sun”, he basically says that racism or segregation keeps people separated from each other. So in the end, the two are easily comparable and clear to understand separately as well.