Theme Comparison of The Street and A Rose for Emily

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  1014 Words
Date:  2022-02-21


A theme that is evident in two stories "The Street" by Octavio Paz and "A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner is isolation. As it can be observed in the works, the contents are built upon feelings of loneliness among the major characters of the story. For instance, as one reads through the tests, he or she can recognize the depiction of lonely thoughts and settings that are isolated.

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In the work "The Street," the author analyses the feeling and general life of an identified man who is on a journey down a dark street. The atmosphere and the environment of the man at large are portrayed to be dull with lots of privacy in it. It is shown when the author says, "A long silent street, I walk in blackness, and I stumble and fall and rise, and I walk blind" (Alfateh et al, n.p). Despite the description of the environment and the feelings that the man was going through, we cannot deduce why the character was in that kind of setting.

As such, we are left with questions as to the reasons why he did not have a home. Was the man having mental problems or instead was he just in search of solitude that he had to share with the world. Secondly, we get to understand what goes through the mind of the character as illustrated by "If I slow down, he slows, If I run, he runs, I turn, nobody" (Alfateh et al, n.p)the phrase can be translated into the assumption that either a person was following him or he was just afraid of his own shadow. The tone of the work is that of a person in solitary isolated from the rest of the world.

Similarly, isolation has also been demonstrated in the literature work, "A Rose for Emily." Solitude starts setting in when Emily is left alone due to the death of her father, and her love almost at a similar time. The author expresses a depiction of a transformation of Emily's attitude both in the physical and emotional terms. Emily is shown to go in solitude after the happening of the above. Judging from the language used in the story by the author, we can tell that Emily cared very little after the demise of his father to freely interact with the rest of the people in the community.

Therefore, she came up with her decision to live all by herself with minimal interruptions from the outside world. The above is portrayed when the author said, "After her father's death, she went out very little...people hardly saw her at all" (Shaima, 404). In respect to the said phrase, we can conclude that Emily's mindset had was towards isolation. She thought it could aid her condition of coping with the deaths of her father and lover. Just like in "The Street," weird thoughts that can be attributed to mental insanity haunt her to terminate her life.

She thinks of buying toxin from a pharmacy. Emily never mentioned the use of poison or instead, what triggered her need for the same. Consequently, the fact that he had remained indoors after the death of his lover and father leaves readers with several questions unanswered such as was death the only thing that could trigger her moves? What was she up to when going to buy the poison from the pharmacy? However, the suitable answer for the above was her living a solitary life that led to all the activities.

The Differences

Evaluation of the two works also incorporates the differences in the identified themes. For the work "The Street," the elements of isolation that have been pointed out are a mood of loneliness that the character was experiencing "Here is a long and silent avenue. I turning and turning among these corners, which lead forever to the road" (Alfateh et al., n.p). The phrase has been used symbolically to show how he feels. However, for the case of "A Rose for Emily," the author has portrayed both physical and emotional isolation of the character from the society "for almost six months, Emily did not show up on the streets" (Shaima, 406).

Another difference can be cited in how the works end. The character in "The Street" stays all by himself in a pub with no idea regarding the next place and step to take as highlighted by "Poems induce our imaginations." The author leaves the readers in a dilemma to think and predict what might happen next. However, for the ending of "A Rose for Emily," isolation consumes the characters so much that the main character ends up dying. Therefore, the difference was elicited by the curiosity to establish different ways through which each of the characters will respond to isolation.

Lastly, another difference in themes was the notable distinctions in the genders of the characters. In work "A Rose for Emily," the characters are women as suggested by the name "Emily." On the other hand, the gender for the character in "The Street" is a man as depicted by the flow of thoughts and what the character interacts with in his feelings. However, gender in work has not been brought out by any reference.


From the two works, we can deduce that the theme was well brought out by the authors as portrayed by the loneliness and exclusivity that results in different actions taken by the main characters. It can also be observed that the emotional responses of the characters to bring out the theme is based upon some external event that they get involved or exposed to it. Each of the work depicts different feelings that enable the reader to compare the impact of the theme of isolation on characters.

Works Cited

Alfateh, Adeeb, et al. "The Street.", 15 Apr. 2010,

Shaima'A, Jassim. "The Concept of Time in Modern Fiction: A Study of William Faulkner's" A Rose for Emily"." Journal of Tikrit University for the Humanities 17.7 (2010): 395-406.

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Theme Comparison of The Street and A Rose for Emily. (2022, Feb 21). Retrieved from

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