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A Rose For Emily Self Preservation Analysis

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Often times, when one visualizes a Southern town, he imagines a picturesque scene filled with ladies adorned with pearl jewelry and men with a suit and tie. The picture tends to have a certain atmosphere around it: a sense that everyone in the scene knows what is expected of oneself and the pressure to uphold that tradition. This element of respectability is integral to Southern culture, especially after the Civil War as the South was struggling to retain its honor. It is no wonder, then, why William Faulkner so deeply incorporates the theme of preserving one’s nobility into A Rose for Emily. The themes of self-preservation and respectability are defining characteristics of Faulkner’s fictional town of Jefferson, much to the detriment of Miss Emily and the townspeople. The culture of preservation in Jefferson is a component of the motivation behind Homer Barron’s murder. Homer first meets Miss Emily and they both become increasingly attached to one another, so much so that Miss Emily buys him silver toiletries because she assumes that he will ask her to marry him. However, when it becomes clear to her that he has no intention of marrying at all, she poisons him with rat poison. She murders him because she realizes that if he rejects her affections publicly, she will be accused of being unable to retain a relationship and the town will regard her as…show more content…
The people of Jefferson are so afraid of being isolated from the majority that they refuse to fully incorporate Miss Emily into their community. Miss Emily’s own desire to conform leads her down a dark path, one that includes murdering someone she loves. Ignoring someone else’s problems in order to be seen as respectable ultimately leads to the deterioration of oneself and the community that is pressuring him to
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