Religion and Murder

In: English and Literature

Submitted By bstewart39
Words 1004
Pages 5
Rebecca Stewart
Jennifer Wheetley Cook
English Comp II, Thematic Analysis
12 July 2014
Religion & Murder in 19th Century American Fiction The recurring theme in “The Black Cat” by Edgar Allan Poe and “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner is religion. “The Black Cat” is about a man who is at a crossroads between the religion he knows and the new scientific theories of the day. “A Rose for Emily” is about a woman caught between her Episcopalian beliefs and the Baptist beliefs of the community she lives in. Both stories use isolation and murder to illustrate the main character’s struggle with religion. However, while Faulkner’s Emily is dealing with outside isolation of her beliefs, Poe’s narrative is an internal struggle with religion versus scientific theory. According to Laura J. Getty, author of "Faulkner's A rose for Emily," “A Rose for Emily” immediately addresses the recurring theme of religion by referencing the carved rose on the confessional booth Emily visits. The Episcopalian Emily visits a confessional while her Baptist neighbors do not (Getty 232). Faulkner further refers to religion by explaining “When we saw her again her hair was cut short, making her look like a girl, with a vague resemblance to the angels in colored church windows—sort of tragic and serene” (par 29). Emily’s struggle with the townspeople’s Baptist beliefs and her Episcopalian background maintain the religious theme. The ladies of the town coerce the Baptist minister to intervene by calling on Emily when she shows a romantic interest in Homer Barron. This action by the ladies extends the struggle Emily has with religion. “The men did not want to interfere, but at last the ladies forced the Baptist minister- Miss Emily’s people were episcopal- to call upon her” (par 44). When Emily drives the Baptist minister away, we are told that “He would never divulge what…...

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