New Criticism ¡V A Rose For Emily
According to the text we have read so far, analyzing materials with ¡§New Criticism¡¨ approach should follow certain steps and rules. Here are some significant facts we have learned:
1) When analyzing a text, we should not take the author¡¦s background into too serious consideration; this is a ¡§the text and the text alone¡¨ approach.
2) The relationship between the author and the text serves as a catalyst. WE should notice this point instead of taking it as the author¡¦s private experiences and thoughts; or else we would commit the ¡§intentional fallacy¡¨.
3) Placing little attention on elements other than the text itself and emphasizing the readers¡¦ emotional responses would be another error called ¡§affective fallacy¡¨
4) The organic unity of a text is ¡§the concept that all part of it are interrelated and interconnected¡K¡¨ it allows the conflicting ideas harmonized with each other at the same time.
Above all, in analyzing a poem with ¡§New Criticism¡¨ approach, we should first exam, consider and analyze the denotation and connotations. Then we turn to the symbols and all kinds of syntactic patterns while also paying attention to components like the tensions or the poetic elements within the poem.
Accordingly, would like to use A Rose For Emily as an example for my first practice in analyzing materials with New Criticism approach. This is a short about a fallen aristocracy that was left over, a woman with her pride and some town people as spectators who sometimes functioned as busybodies. Throughout the story I can¡¦t feel the narrator¡¦s emotion; I don¡¦t know whether he was sympathetic for Miss Emily or not. Yet to me from the language and wordings chosen I sensed some very slight and faint sadness, because the woman with superior background died lonely, perhaps.
The very first thing I noticed was the tensions. There are a lot of tensions included, such as Emily¡¦s interaction with the town people over the tax, the smell, her father¡¦s death, her relationship with Hommer Barron the laborer and then finally the tension when her servant opened up the door and let people in. In my opinion, these tensions, fast and slow, together helped formed a certain kind of tempo within the text, making it variable for the readers and creating a sort of uncertainty about life, which corresponds to the story itself ¡V slight doubt and sadness filled all over like a winter breeze.
There are elements except the tensions that also help create a vivid narration of this story, such as some contrasts and the choice of words. There contrasts I found within the text could be very evident clue to this point. Take people¡¦s response about Emily¡¦s relationship with Hommer Barron for example, sometimes people saw her as disgrace, sometimes ¡§felt happy¡¨ for her getting married, also there were times the town people asked her cousins to come and persuade her not to do so¡K, and then at last after she passed away ¡§the whole town went to her funeral;¡¨ and to this it was said clearly at the very beginning that ¡§the men through a sort of respectful affection for a falling monument, the women mostly out of curiosity to see the inside of her house¡K¡¨
Still, the wordings chosen also did a great help for the narration For example, the old Negro servant¡¦s voice was ¡§harsh and rusty, as if from disuse.¡¨ This suggests not only the isolation of the servant and his master, but also the age and loneliness of the house and those who lived in it. Another example like the word ¡§rose¡¨ also offers some association for me. It only appeared in the title, and not until the very last moment of the story did show up as the real time. And yet there it didn¡¦t suggest a romantic or loving idea to me; instead it offers a kind of weak, ambiguous and dead atmosphere ¡V the curtains of ¡§faded rose colour¡¨ in the top floor of the house. Therefore personally I think the ¡§rose¡¨ in this short story suggests the ones which people threw onto Emily¡¦s coffin at her funeral. This may correspond to the title as ¡§A Rose For Emily¡¨ since what we saw at the beginning and the end were both loss of life, or say, a legend.