Miss Emily Grierson, the main character in William Faulkner’s short story, “A Rose for Emily”, is a very unusual character. She has an extremely unhealthy relationship with her father causing her to deny his death. Miss Emily constantly staying locked up in the house she grew up in alone, feeling forced to live in the limelight of her father and never attempting to get over his death causes her to mentally and physically withered away and become a sad, pitiful, and bizarre human being. Faulkner describes Emily’s desire to be alone by saying, “People hardly saw her at all” (Faulkner II). The only times she was seen was sitting in the window “with the torso of an idol”
In William Faulkner’s short story, A Rose for Emily, Emily Grierson, a prominent member of her small town, dies alone in her home. Upon her death, curious townsfolk entered her home trying to learn her secrets. It was thought she was crazy. Emily Grierson was not crazy; she was isolated by her father, which led to her odd social tendencies and unique interactions with others. A Rose for Emily is a short story based in a small town.
“A Rose for Emily” is a dark, suspenseful Gothic tale in which a young girl is put on a pedestal by a town who sees her as haughty and scornful. Miss Emily Grierson’s father controls her and her love life, pushing away all people until he dies and Emily is left alone. As her life goes on the townspeople watch her and judge Emily, almost turning her life into a spectacle to be talked about. At her death, a gruesome sight is unfolded when her lover of over forty years ago is found decomposed in her upstairs room. William Faulkner effectively builds epic suspense in “A Rose for Emily” by the unchronological order of the story, the treatment of Emily’s father towards her, and her family’s history of mental illness.
In “A Rose for Emily,” the author, Faulkner, describes the life of a women after the death of her family and the abandonment of her friends. The story is about a female named Emily whose father dies of natural causes, and she is left with little money except for her house and an African American manservant. The manservant is a very loyal person who stays by Emily’s side till her own death. This story is depicted from the neighbor’s point about the lady Emily. It recounts her life as she lived it from an external perspective.
He also shows the relationship between Emily and her dead father and how Emily cannot let go of people that show a love interest in her or the people who look after her in that she must be attached to them even after death. Faulkner depicts an Emily that was once young and vibrant, who maintained the Grierson home and kept it in a pristine condition. Faulkner relays to readers that because Emily was unable to control her own destiny and was powerless under her father’s hand, she became a recluse and ultimately went into a downward spiral. After sensing and believing that her first real love will leave her, Emily purchases arsenic and it is believed that she will kill herself because there is no point in living if no one will love her
The narrator describes all the shades of character of Miss Emily. She had diverse characteristics. She is dear and inescapable as townspeople talked about her and wanted to know what she will do next. She is impervious and tranquil because she lived by herself in isolation thus she was away from material world. For example, she did not have to pay taxes or any bills.
Throughout the story, the main character, Miss Emily Grierson, shows signs of what appears to be some form of mental illness. Although Faulkner never states that Miss Emily has anything wrong with her mental health, he does provide enough evidence to support that she is not psychologically stable. In “A Rose for Emily,” Faulkner portrays the main character as a mysterious icon of the small town of Jefferson, Mississippi. As the story states, Emily’s father is an admirable figure in the city of Jefferson. After his passing, the townspeople show the same respect for Emily, as well.
In this short stories “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe and “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner, the authors represent the sense of horror in their stories. They are very similar in expressing their terrifying point of view. However, there are also differences. “The Tell-Tale Heart” is told in the first person perspective which creates compulsory picture of a mad murdered, whereas the third person perspective of “A Rose for Emily” shows Miss Emily through the eyes of others, which changes the narrative radically. In Addition, Miss Emily committed the crime because the fear of being alone.
In his short story, “A Rose for Emily,” William Faulkner intends to convey a message to his audience about the unwillingness in human nature to accept change and more specifically the secretive tendencies of aristocrats in the South during the early 20th century. In order to do this, Faulkner sets up a story in which he isolates and old aristocratic woman, Miss Emily, from her fellow townspeople and proceeds to juxtapose her lifestyle with theirs. In doing this he demonstrates her stubborn refusal to change along with the town, but also Among several literary devices the author employs to achieve this contrast, Faulkner sets up his narrator as a seemingly reliable, impartial and knowledgeable member of the community in which Miss Emily lives by using a first person plural, partially omniscient point of view. The narrator is present for all of the scenes that take place in the story, but does not play any role in the events, and speaks for the town as a whole.
William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily” critiques the American South Describing Emily’s vibrant life full of hope and buoyancy, later shrouded into the profound mystery, Faulkner emphasizes her denial to accept the concept of death. William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily” takes place in the South during the transitional time period from the racial discrimination to the core political change of racial equality. Starting from the description of her death, “A Rose for Emily” tells the story about the lady who is the last in her generation (Emily Grierson). Being strong, proud and a traditional lady of southern aristocracy, Emily turns into an evil, unpredictable and mysterious old lady after the death of her father. Even though “A Rose for Emily”
Miss Emily comes from an old wealthy line of family in the deep south. Faulkner story is highly symbolic, enhancing miss Emily’s values and character. “Miss Emily is described as a fallen monument to the chivalric American South”(Allmon). Faulkner uses the setting of the story to show the emotional state of Emily. The female-male relationship between Emily and her father is strict, oppressive, and controlling; Their relationship has a major impact on Emily’s character Throughout the short story.
Emily is an elderly woman who was monumentalized by her town due to her fathers past achievements. Faulkner Stated “Alive, Miss Emily had been a tradition, a duty, and a care; a sort of hereditary obligation upon the town.” Although the town did not love Emily, they all understood her seniority because of her father’s prominent position in the society. The community gave Emily special treatment and she was still unable to develop endearment for the people that looked after her. Instead Emily felt entitled and she refused to socialize with people
Conformity is a change in behavior, which is normally caused by another person or a group of people’s thoughts or opinions of someone. When an individual is constantly told that they are a certain way, the individual will eventually begin to believe it and conform to other’s views without even realizing it. This happened to the young Emily Grierson, by a numerous amount of people, and continued to happen until the day of her death. Many can probably say that it was the main reason for her deteriorating mental condition, instability, and the strange approach of how she handled death. “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner is an unusual story about a girl with a troubled mind who is eventually pushed over the edge by the constant gossip of the townspeople and the heartbreak of a lover.
This can be seen from her perception and description of the man who shares her “special” seat as a “… fine old man” and the woman as “a big old woman” (101). Her Surname 2 remembrance of the previous Sunday’s patient Englishman and his nagging hard to please wife whom she wanted to shake also shows her envy for women with male companionship. In Faulkner’s story A Rose for Emily, Emily is seen as a person who suffers from isolation from her community, by tradition and by law. Her isolation from the community and love is what seems to perturb her most; she is unable to accept the idea that her father is dead and she remains in denial.
In “A Rose for Emily,” the protagonist, Emily displays the obsession through her isolation. Equally important, the theme of obsession works as a preeminent role through the protagonist. Emily was never allowed to be autonomous growing up, and she goes beyond the lines on maintaining a strong intimacy through her isolating lifestyle. In essence, Emily develops a mental illness from severe isolation due to the actions of her father.