Essay - Rose for Emily

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In the story “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner, the voices of the townspeople and narrator paint a character portrait of Miss Emily as a reclusive woman who doesn’t have the strongest grasp on reality. Despite her odd behavior and refusal to accept the evolving world around her, the town collectively feels a “respectful affection” (391) for her, though it eventually gives way to morbid curiosity and finally fear. Though it is found out she may have done bad things, she is not a bad person and had her life been different her story could have had a much happier ending. Emily Grierson grew up a sheltered girl in an upper class family, their home set on what had once been the town’s most select street. Her father believing no man was good enough for her (“. . . we remembered all the young men her father had driven away…” 393), chased away any male suitors causing his daughter to be unwed and the lonely sole occupant of the home she inherited when he passed away. The only stable company she has inside her home is Tobe, her servant; though he doesn’t seem much one for conversation (“He talked to no one, probably not even to her, for his voice had grown harsh and rusty, as if from disuse.” 396). The first evidence of Emily’s questionable sanity comes at the time of her father’s passing. When the ministers and doctors came to collect her father’s remains, “She told them her father was not dead. She did this for 3 days.” 393). Grieving can make reality difficult to accept, however when tax time comes she also refuses to accept she has to pay taxes. She seems to only accept her own reality, seemingly out of touch with the real world. Perhaps if she were encouraged to socialize instead of having her heart held captive from potential love, she could have been driven a bit less insane from the loneliness. Sometime after her father’s death, Emily met a day laborer named Homer Barron who had come into town to oversee the paving of the streets. Being a day laborer...
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