A Defense for Emily

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"A Defense for Emily"

In Faulkner's, "A Rose for Emily", Emily Grierson is perceived by the town of Jefferson as "a tradition, a duty, and a care….a hereditary obligation of the town." (30) In a sense she was their responsibility. So it is not doubtful that, by not interfering, the town is somewhat responsible for the death of Homer Barron. Early on the townspeople became aware that Ms. Emily could be crazy. However, nothing was done to help her. She was a hereditary obligation of the town and in fact, heredity is exactly how Ms. Emily became crazy and is not responsible for her actions.

Emily had a poor relationship with her father. He is seen in their tableau with her in the background and him with a whip (32). She was literally kept locked up within her own home and yet she still loved him enough to keep his body when he passed away. She did not want to believe that he had died and had to be convinced by the townspeople otherwise. She told them that her father was not dead (32). Even still they did not question her actions, assuming that it was normal to be upset over his death. Emily also had an aunt who was directly referred to as "the crazy woman" in which Emily's father had a falling out with her family. Thus when Emily's father passed only two of Emily's family members attended the funeral.

Emily was soon being talked about by the town as if she were crazy as well; it certainly seemed so since she rarely left her house or let anyone in at all. "Poor Emily" was so distraught by her life. When she met Homer Barron, however, things changed. She was seen outside of the house more, with Homer of course, and was talked about even more by the town. Even though Homer and Emily had seemed to be happy together, Homer did not want to marry. He liked men… he was not a marrying man. (34) Homer was seen entering the house and never coming out and the citizens noticed but failed to do anything about it. (34) Emily could not stand to be left again, as her...
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