"A Rose for Emily" Analysis

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Amanda Irving

The Madness Within

During the course of William Faulkner’s short story “A Rose for Emily”, the idea that the main character, Emily Grierson, displayed serious mental issues is evident. After the death of her father, the beginning phases of the madness contained within her seemed to slowly surface to the people of the town. The storyline develops Emily Grierson into a character that everyone in the town is curious about. A person that lets very few people into her life, therefore, is intriguing to the people of the town as they know virtually nothing about her. Only later in Faulkner’s story does the reader realize just how great the madness was that Emily was hiding within. The beginning of the story paints a picture of Emily Grierson’s funeral, insinuating that the attendance from the people of the town was mainly out of obligation and curiosity, rather than going to mourn the death of a neighbor or friend. Emily was a woman who was once a priority in her town due to her father’s financial influence in the past. Emily’s residence, owned by her father before his passing, used to be something of stature set on what had once been a very prominent street of the neighborhood. The neglect of the house and property as indicated with the statement of “But the garages and cotton gins had encroached and obliterated even the august names of that neighborhood; only Miss Emily’s house was left, lifting its stubborn and coquettish decay above the cotton wagons and the gasoline pumps – an eyesore among eyesores” indicates that the mental anguish of Emily was apparent to the neighbors after her father’s passing. When Emily’s father passed away she refused to believe that he had died. When people would go and visit and offer their condolence and help, Emily would tell them that her father was not dead. “She did that for three days, with the ministers calling on her, and the doctors, trying to persuade her to let them dispose of the body. Just as they...
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