A Creative Twist Between Stories, “A Rose for Emily” and “Romeo and Juliet”

↓ Watch This!!! ↓

 A Visual Summary of “A Rose for Emily” ♦ (Cartoon Version)
♦ A Visual Summary of “Romeo and Juliet” ♦ (Cartoon Version – In Romeo and Juliet’s Individual Views) 

In the short story “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner, Emily is a woman that for many years was under the care of her father who was a great price to the town. Emily’s father thwarted her and she was always single until he died. Faulkner wrote, “Miss Emily had been a tradition, a duty, and a care; a sort of hereditary obligation upon the town” (317). After the passing of Emily’s father, she fell in love with a man, Homer Barron, who was a foreman with a construction company, which was under contract to pave the sidewalks in the town. The town’s people instantly saw the passion Emily had for Homer, but as everyone knew, Homer Barron, was not the “marrying kind.” Emily knew this in her heart as well but she could not bare to live with it. To deal with this heartbreak Emily decided what she would do. Asking for arsenic, the druggist gave the poison to her hesitantly, wondering why she would want such a strong poison. The next day the town was saying, “She will kill herself” (321), but proving them wrong she went on to live for many more years.

After the passing of Emily several years later, the town’s people were welcomed into the Grierson home for the funeral. The cousins of Emily went through the house to collect belongs, coming across a locked door. Behind the door was a shrine of Homer Barron and the night he and Emily had spent together; the night she poisoned him. Beside his skeleton was the imprint of Emily, and a strand of gray hair, where she has laid with him for so many years. Emily murdered a man she cherished. The locked room was a shrine of Emily’s last night with the man she loved.

“Romeo and Juliet” by William Shakespeare is the most famous love story in the world. Juliet quotes,

What’s here? A cup, closed in my true love’s hand? Poison, I see, hath been his timeless end: O churl! Drunk all, and left no friendly drop to help me after? I will kiss thy lips; haply some poison yet doth hang on them, to make die with a restorative.”

She kisses him, “Thy lips are warm,” she hears a noise, “Yea, noise? Then I’ll be brief. O happy dagger! This is thy sheath; there rust, and let me die” (Romeo and Juliet). This statement is implying that Juliet is not hesitating to die along side Romeo. To her, poison is like a medicine that will bring her and Romeo back together (Mortality Quotes). This is what allowed me to see how I could twist the two stories.

Emily loved Homer so much that she murdered him but it makes me wonder why she chose to lay with his body for so many years when she could have killed herself, like Juliet did, to be with her lover for eternity so I chose to replace Faulkner’s ending with parts from Shakespeare’s ending. In the illustration I created, there is a picture of Emily drinking half the poison after she had already made Homer drink the first half. While drinking the poison she quotes a line from “Romeo and Juliet,” “What devil art thou, that dost torment me thus? This torture should be roared in dismal hell.” In my illustration this quote is explaining her feelings of torment because Homer would not marry her. The next picture in my illustration is when she is lying with Homer’s dead body and as she is breathing her final breaths, she voices her last words, “I shall die with my beloved Homer, we shall become one as we take our final breath and be laid to rest.” The last two pictures are of Homer and Emily’s bodies after they are laid to rest to show that in the end, the couple was able to indeed spend eternity together, even though it was forced by Emily.

I chose to twist the stories of “A Rose for Emily” and “Romeo and Juliet” because I believe Emily grieved herself to death after the passing of her father and Homer Barron was the only thing that filled the void but Homer was not the marrying kind and Emily did not want to live without him. The only way for him to forever be hers was to kill him and keep his body. Faulkner could have easily made Emily drink some of the poison killing, not only her lover but herself also so that they could always be together just like Romeo and Juliet. The background behind “Romeo and Juliet” is completely different than “A Rose for Emily;” however, both the stories contain love, passion, poison, and death. This is what gave me the idea to combine this story with “Romeo and Juliet.”

Works Cited:

“A Rose for Emily.” The Story and Its Writer. Ed. Ann Charters. Compact 9th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2014. 317-23.  Print.

“Mortality Quotes.” Romeo and Juliet. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 13 Dec. 2014.

Shakespeare, William. Romeo and Juliet. Ed. Peter Holland. New York: Penguin, 2000. Print.

A Comparative Analysis of the Stories “Hills Like White Elephants” and “Black Man and White Woman in Dark Green Boat”

In many ways, “Hills Like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemingway and “Black Man and White Woman in Dark Green Rowboat” by Russell Banks are mirror images. Both stories are discussions of controversial topics but never articulate the subjects. In each story, one of the partners is trying to persuade the other to take a decisive, life-changing action, while assuring each partner that things will be just like they were “before” the action, and both works involve a symbolic reference to transportation that leave the conclusion of the story to the readers imagination.

In Banks’ and Hemingway’s stories the topic of the two stories are never announced, it is completely up to the reader to understand the issue that the writers are talking about, which is pregnancy and abortion. I feel to understand what either of these stories are discussing, the reader has to be somewhat educated in pregnancy and understand how to read and look in depth at context clues. Hemingway uses a form of context clues in the following conversation on page 417:

‘It’s really an awfully simple operation, Jig,’ the man said. ‘It’s not really an operation at all.’

The girl looked at the ground the table legs rested on.

‘I know you wouldn’t mind it, Jig. It’s really not anything. It’s just to let the air in.’

An American male character in Hemingway’s story, “Hills Like White Elephants,” states these quotes because he is talking to a girl with whom he has relations with. This text gives Hemingway’s readers the idea that the girl in the story is pregnant and the “operation” that the two characters are discussing is an abortion. Just like in Hemingway’s story, Banks also makes his readers believe that the situation is the same in “Black Man and White Woman in Dark Green Boat.” The girl in Banks’ story says, “I’m already putting on weight,” and “I told my mother” (64) giving readers the option to “read between the lines” and understand that the girl is talking about a pregnancy. Later on the girl goes on to say on page 65, “I’m going to do it. Mother’s coming with me. She called and set it up this morning,” implying to readers that the girl is talking about an abortion.

In both stories, there is a special emphasis on the fact that “afterwards” things will go back to normal and be just like it was before. In “Black Man and White Woman in Dark Green Boat,” Banks makes the woman iterate, “I know you do. So do I. But it’ll be all right again afterwards. I promise. It’ll be just like it was” (65), after the man suggests that he “hates” the whole situation. In “Hills Like White Elephants,” the man goes about persuading Jig into the abortion by “sweet talking” her. Just like in Banks’ story, Hemingway makes the man iterate, “We’ll be fine afterward. Just like we were before” (417). The man then goes on to say, “You’ve got to realize that I don’t want you to do it if you don’t want to. I’m perfectly willing to go through with it if it means anything to you.” Jig then states, “Doesn’t it mean anything to you? We could get along.” The man then goes even further saying, “Of course it does. But I don’t want anybody but you. I don’t want any one else. And I know it’s perfectly simple” (419), in a sense of manipulating Jig into doing what he wants her to do, having the abortion, and thinking that it would be her complete decision.

Transportation plays a major role in Banks and Hemingway’s stories. “Black Man and White Woman in Dark Green Boat” is placed in the setting of a man and woman in a rowboat in a body of water. “Hills Like White Elephants” is a story placed in the middle of a train station in Spain. The use of the rowboat in the “Black Man and White Woman in Dark Green Boat” has an important meaning to the story. This is a form of transit that is symbolic for the upcoming decisions that the girl in the story has to make. The train station in “Hills Like White Elephants” is also symbolic of Jig and the man’s upcoming decisions. In both stories the two concepts of transit imply that the couples in both of the stories have the option to go in many different directions. The two couples do not have to have the abortions that either one of the partners are pursuing but there are many different options and decisions the couples could make in an agreement to each other that may be more beneficial in their lives.

Banks and Hemingway’s stories, along with never actually saying the conflict that the couples are facing, also fail to say what both of the couples finally decide in the ends of the story. In Banks’ story, the girl says, “Listen, I don’t know how to tell you this, but I might as well come right out and say it. I’m going to do it. This afternoon. Mother’s coming with me. She called and set it up this morning” (65), then later on at the end of the story Banks says “…then they watched the girl, carrying her yellow towel, magazine, and bottle of tanning lotion, step carefully out of the boat and walk to where she lived with her mother” (67), leading that reader to believe that the girl in Banks’ story does actually go through with the operation but there is not textual evidence that she does in fact follow through with the plan. However, in Hemingway’s story the girl asks her partner, “Would you please please please please please please please stop talking” (419)? The girl asks her partner this in the middle of discussing the operation. By never actually implying anything related to the couple’s decision on the operation, Hemingway leaves the decision of the couple a mystery and allows the readers imagination to wonder.

Being that the two stories are so close in comparison, there are also extreme differences in both stories. I do, however, think it is safe to say that with the stories being published roughly fifty-four years apart, Hemingway’s in 1927 and Banks’ in 1981, Banks more than likely had read Hemingway’s story before drafting “Black Man and White Woman in Dark Green Boat” to construct a story that is so similar to “Hills Like White Elephants.”

Works Cited:

Banks, Russell. “Black Man and White Woman in Dark Green Boat.” The Story and Its Writer. Compact 9th ed. Ed. Ann Charters. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 62-67.

Hemingway, Ernest. “Hills Like White Elephants.” The Story and Its Writer. Compact 9th ed. Ed. Ann Charters. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 416-419

A Look into the Difference of Characteristics Between Adults and Children: Who is more Grateful?

The story of Barbie-Q is told from the perspective of what seems to be a young girl. She discusses her and who I assume to be her sister’s Barbie dolls that they play with together. She goes into great detail describing the hair and facial expressions on both her and her sister’s dolls. The narrator also goes into detail about the outfits that the two dolls have. Both outfits were once beautiful and sparkly but overtime have been used and have become worn out. The sisters even made an extra dress out of a regular old sock by cutting holes in it. This gave them an extra outfit to change their dolls into.

The narrator mentions that they play make-believe a lot since they only have two dolls. They pretend that their Barbie dolls are roommates and have make-believe Ken dolls as boyfriends. The girls get into make-believe arguments over their Barbie’s boyfriends and other silly things.  I think this story speaks to the imagination and acceptance that young children have. The children know their families do not have much money, “ Because we don’t have money for a stupid-looking boy doll when we’d both rather ask for a new Barbie outfit next Christmas” (184), but they have to use their imaginations for all of these things because they cannot afford other dolls; although, they hope to each get a new doll each Christmas.

One day the girl makes a trip to the flea market and spots Barbie boxes at one of the booths. She begs for two dolls until her mother, or whomever she happens to be with, says yes. She is elated and skipping around the flea market when she comes across a whole bunch of dolls.  It turns out that there was a fire at the local toy factory and vendors were selling all of the damaged, or Barbie-Q’ed, toys. She was able to get all of her dream Barbie dolls at the flea market for a fraction of the price. These dolls were damaged with burnt parts and water spots, but they were still useable. After a good scrub down, the dolls did not smell like soot anymore and the girls were able to play with them. The girl makes the point, “so long as you don’t lift her dress, right? – who’s to know” (184). She now has more dolls than she had ever dreamed of, so what does it matter if the doll’s have imperfection? No one would know as long as they aren’t looking specifically for imperfections.

Many adults would see burnt and damaged dolls to be useless and may even be somewhat disgusted by the idea of playing with them. The girl in this story overlooks the imperfections of the doll and still plays with them and treats them just like her original, older dolls.

This seems to be the same way many children treat people in everyday life. Adults often judge others and themselves by outer appearance. If you are overweight, underweight, or don’t have the newest or coolest clothing, people may treat you differently. Children on the other hand tend to overlook those things and treat people fairly and with an open mind.

Cisneros, Sandra. “Barbie-Q.” The Story and Its Writer. Compact 9th ed. Ed. Ann Charters. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 183-84.


Sandra Cisneros