Mental Illness Rose for Emily

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Insanity: The Mental Illness of Emily Grierson in "A Rose for Emily" Insanity is defined as a deranged state of the mind usually occurring as a specific disorder. In “A Rose for Emily”, the main character, Emily Grierson, displays behavior that can categorized by the reader as insane. The story tells the readers that Emily Grierson was a woman that stayed inside her home and had very little contact with the outside world for a long time and kept the remains of her deceased father as well as her deceased husband. Emily Grierson was a woman that had a hard time with letting go of the people that she had loved. “Send her word to have her place cleaned up. Give her a certain time to do it in and if she don’t…” (Faulkner, 1931, p. 86). The people of the town were able to smell the remains of Emily’s father. An insane individual would keep the remains of a family member and be able to function day to day with the smell of the decomposing body close to them. Later in the story, Emily falls in love and marries. Her obsession, love and insanity lead her to buy arsenic and poison her new love. Emily’s mental illness once again steers her to believe that it is normal to have a dead body in her home. The readers learn at the end of the story that Emily had spent time in her deceased husband’s bed with his body, “then we noticed that in the second pillow was the indentation of a head” (Faulkner, 1931, p. 90). Emily Grierson suffered from a mental illness that should have had appropriate medical treatment. In the time that this story was set, medical intervention was not readily available as it is today. If Emily Grierson was treated for her mental illness when her father had passed and she kept the body, her husband may have never been murdered. Emily loved people to death. She was obsessed with people and did not want to lose them, so she killed them and kept their body, until her death. She was insane.

Faulkner, W. (1931). . In M. Meyer, The...
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