Isolation and Loneliness

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  • Topic: Death
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  • Published : October 8, 1999
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In many works of literature, some characters isolate themselves from society due

to certain events that happen in their life that make them isolate themselves. Isolation

from the society can cause loneliness in ones life. In "A Rose For Emily", William

Faulkner suggests that isolation from society can cause people to do unspeakable acts

because they are lonely.

The main character, Emily Grierson lives her life under her father. Her father

thinks that no man is good enough for his daughter. Therefore, he pushes anyone who

comes near his daughter. After living like this for so many years, Emily is left with

nothing after her father dies. "We remembered all the young men her father had driven

away, and we knew that with nothing left, she would have to cling to that which had

robbed her, as people will " (417) Due to that fact that her father has driven all the men

who wanted to enter her life, she is left alone after her father's death. Her attitude

towards men is affected by her father. Therefore she isolates herself from others because

she is used to living under her father which causes her to become lonely.

Miss Emily does not go out for some time after her father's death until she meets

a man named Homer Barron. They are together for a long time and everyone in town

thinks that they will be married soon. However, after this relationship lasts about one

year and a half, Homer decides that he wants to leave Emily. Emily, having to go

through the loss of her father, decides to kill Homer. "A neighbor saw the Negro

man admit him at the kitchen door at dusk one evening. And that was the last we saw of

Homer Barron. And of Miss Emily for some time " (419). Emily does not want to be left

alone so she kills Homer and leaves him in her house. This way she still has Homer by

her side. The difference is that he is dead and she is alive. His dead body remains in her

house for a while but no one knows of his disappearance.

After Miss Emily kills Homer a smell develops in the area around her house.

Crazy as it is, she lives through the smell. It does not bother her but it bothers her

neighbors. "Then we noticed that in the second pillow was the indentation of a head.

One of us lifted something from it, and leaning forward, that faint and invisible dust dry

and acrid in the nostrils, we saw a long strand of iron-gray hair" (421). After Emily's

death, there is a discovery of Homer's dead body laying in the bed upstairs. It appears

that Emily still lays in bed next to his rotting body after she kills him with poison.

Apparently, the smell that was bothering the neighbors years before is from Homer's

rotting body. Here we can see that insanity took over her. She did not want to be left

alone with nothing so the only way to get out of the loneliness is by killing her one love.

The thought of marriage enters Emily's mind because she has been with Homer

for a while. However, Homer decides to leave her. " We learned that Miss Emily had

been to the jeweler's and ordered a man's toilet set in silver, with letters H.B. on each

piece. Two days later we learned that she had bought a complete outfit of men's

clothing, including a nightshirt..." (419). Even though he wants to leave her, Emily still

has the thought that they will always be together. This is what leads to the murder of her

love so that they could always be together. To Miss Emily, Homer is still alive because

she buys this silver made especially for him. After his death she is never seen by anyone.

She stays inside her house and sleeps beside her love even though he is dead.

At the end, Emily dies alone in her...
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