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Parallel and Contrast of Emily from A Rose for Emily by Faulkner and Deborah from Life In the Iron Mills by Davis

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When Emily passed away, a secret room was found and the decomposing body of Homer was inside that room. Emily still kept his body even though she knew that he was already dead. She was unable to realize that she needs to move on with her life and that death does not only mean the end of everything but it can the start of something better for her. Life in the Iron Mills presents us with one interpretation of what role money plays in American society. In this story, the idea of money is crucial, since all characters, rich and poor alike, falsely equate wealth with personal fulfillment, thus elevating it to the status of absolute importance.

This practice, as Deborah learned, has disastrous consequences because the attainment of money then is seen as justifying the breaking of moral and legal laws while it also overshadows one’ s personal qualities. The latter diminishes the likelihood that true personal fulfillment will be achieved since inappropriate methods are being used to attain it. So, to Deborah, while society typically misinterprets money’ s significance, its true role is distinct from the attributes of individual fulfillment and happiness, thus their attainment may be achieved independently of wealth. Rebecca Harding Davis's story "Life in the Iron Mills" gives a more realistic look into the life of a factory girl and her makeshift family.

The story is told from the point of view of an anonymous narrator, whose vocabulary betrays an upper-class education, and whose lack of work outside the home betrays her gender. This narrator invites the reader to "come right down with me. ..into the thickest of the fog and mud and foul effluvia. ... to hear [the] story" of a Welsh mill worker and his family (Davis, 13).

This invitation to descend into the life of a lower-class worker symbolizes the social and physical distance between industrial workers and the middle and upper classes of the town. The narrator invites the reader to give up psychological and philosophical theories about the poor and to experience life as they do.    

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preview essay on Parallel and Contrast of Emily from A Rose for Emily by Faulkner and Deborah from Life In the Iron Mills by Davis
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