Emily Mental Illness Analysis

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Throughout this short story, Emily showcases several attributes of mental illness which is compounded from it already running in her family, to events in her life that may seem disturbing. Faulkner paints an eerie image of Emily and her surroundings which helps the reader to understand the state of her mental stability. By being withdrawn from society and being seen as an outsider, it seemed she was trapped in a world that did not understand her which made her seem full of delusions. Even though Emily seemed like she needed professional help she never received any psychiatric treatment. Although the community Emily lived in never thought she was crazy, they did think she was a bit off and this can be seen through their interactions with her. It was almost an underlying tone of the story, that the towns people could tell she was indeed a very ill person. By…show more content…
The community complained to the judge but the judge decided on not telling Emily about the smell because it would come off rude. The next night after asking the judge but getting nowhere, four men cross over to Emilys house to sprinkle lime over the cellar door and all the outbuildings to help get rid of the smell. While they were doing this Faulkner mentions how Emilys shadow is just sitting at her window watching the four men, “As they recrossed the lawn, a window that had been dark was lighted and Miss Emily sat it in, the light behind her.”. (Faulkner 806) The characters in this are obviously trying to take action in reducing the smell but her obscure behavior and mental state comes off rather creepy as she sits and watches them. This setting is important because it is bringing attention to what Emily is doing inside her house causing it to give off the unpleasant
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