Miss Emily Grierson

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Miss Emily Grierson, the main character in A Rose For Emily, was so obviously insane that the main question is not if she is insane, but how. Of all the factors that should be taken into account and all the various manifestations of insanity she could have presented, there are some particular aspects of her behavior hold more certainty than others. The fact that nearly all of her life was lived privately, unviewed by anyone who could speak of it, the only knowledge of her behavior comes from her rare interactions with the townspeople of Jefferson. Having lived with only a corpse for company for more than forty years, almost all of her behaviors that were seen by the public were erratic, at the least. With insanity exhibited by her great aunt severely, and the behavior of her father presenting a strong argument for insanity, or at least eccentricity, along with the fact that her early life was so controlled by her father, it is no surprise that Miss Emily inherited her madness. By the time of her death, Miss Emily displayed all signs of insane obsession and delusion, both of which were compounded by severe agoraphobia. Miss Emily’s tendencies toward madness were first displayed at the death of her father. It was immediately known to the town that he had died but, “She told them that her father was not dead. She did that for three days, with the ministers calling on her, and the doctors.” The explanation of this erratic behavior that the townsfolk created was actually close to truth, as they said, “We knew that with nothing left, she would have to cling to that which had robbed her, as people will,” speaking of the way that her father had controlled her life so strictly. Miss Emily, as the one controlling access to the body, would have seen that her father was dead with her own eyes, but rejected the reality of the situation until she was forced to accept it. It was a delusion of her invention, created in order to allow her to ignore the truth of her father’s...
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