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.
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.
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.
Emily is judged for loving a man who is less fortunate than her . In the following line the townspeople’s reactions to their relationship is obvious, “’Poor Emily’, the whispering began. ‘Do you suppose it’s really so?’ they said to one another” (102). The townspeople did not to much care for the relationship between the two because of the barriers set up by social class saying poor date the poor and rich date the rich.
Both Emily and Robert are prematurely judged by the narrators in both stories, and the assumptions are so far fetched from the reality. Miss. Emily is perceived to be a lonely old woman, whom nobody ever spoke with. Since they never talk with her or learn anything about what is going on in her life, the townspeople begin to gossip to make up for this. They knew her father had driven away any man from becoming close to her, and they just thought to themselves, “ poor Emily” (32).
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. Faulkner immediately sets up his narrator as a member of the community in the first line of the story, saying that when Miss Emily died “our whole town went to her funeral.”
In many situations, the people within the town notice Miss Emily’s odd behavior, but they choose to maintain peace with her instead of helping her when she clearly needs it the most. However, this need to preserve the respectful image of Miss Emily ultimately leads to her emotional breakdown of isolation and
Telling the story in an irregular order, Faulkner develops a sense of suspense by adding details to the mysterious Miss Emily. “Alive, Miss Emily had been a tradition, a duty, and a care: a sort of hereditary obligation upon the town” (451). The reader learns that Miss Emily had been seen as an eccentric woman that the people of the town had to take care of and overlook, ultimately overlooking her as a suspect in Homer Barron’s disappearance. Miss Emily often disappears into her house for months and years at a time,
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.
Emily is mentally separated from the townspeople, and is stuck in the time period of when she was once beautiful. Because of her isolation and her actions that followed, the people around her portray her as mentally ill. The isolation from society causes people to think of them differently. As for themselves, they become unknowing to what is happening outside their mental or physical separation and grow lonely and
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.
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
As the story goes on, Faulkner describes Emily’s death: “When Miss Emily Grierson died the whole town went to her funeral: the men out of respectful affection for a fallen monument and the women mostly out of curiosity” (Faulkner). Faulkner emphasizes that while men are caring and respectful women act only based on curiosity. Indeed, the role of women in the southern society is less significant than the role of
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.