October 21, 2012
Tainted Twisted Roses
In William Faulkner’s, A Rose for Emily, the author paints a disturbing story set in the early nineteenth century. A woman named Miss Emily, brought up in the world of a high socialite, is shown to have a fatal issue with letting go of the past and starting new beginnings. Through Faulkner’s short story, we are taken on a complex ride where Miss Emily’s habits prove again and again just how twisted her aura of regal stubbornness can be. Though there are many questionable incidents throughout the story, Faulkner placed great emphasis without even trying on three in particular that really grabbed hold of the reader and gave them a glimpse into Miss Emily’s cynical behavior; her refusal to pay taxes, to surrender her father’s body, and to provide a reason for her purchase of arsenic.
At the very beginning of the story we learn that Miss Emily is not to pay taxes in Jefferson after her father passes, due to an arrangement set up by the elder mayor Colonel Sartoris. When the younger generation of mayors and law enforcement stepped up, this arrangement caused a stir, and she was sent a tax notice. Though they tried time and time again, Miss Emily refused to budge. She argued about her special arrangement that she had with the town about her taxes and repeated to the men that came to visit her, “I don’t have taxes in Jefferson. Go see Colonel Sartoris” (91) They tried to tell her that Colonel Satoris has passed on ten years before, yet she still dismissed them from her home, adamant that they speak with the Colonel. Knowingly or not, Miss Emily has used her stubborn nature to her major advantage. She does not see nor think what she does is wrong, and simply thinks that these younger men have no idea what they are talking about. Many would wonder what the consequences were for not paying obeying the law and paying her taxes, yet for Miss Emily, there were none.
In spite of the townsmen dismissing...