A Rose for Emily: Emily as a Tradition, a Duty and a Care

Topics: Marriage, Death, For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her Pages: 3 (1092 words) Published: February 13, 2013
Emily Grierson is the title character in the short story “A Rose for Emily.” The narrator portrays Emily as a “tradition, a duty, and a care,” (Faulkner,79) but in her actions, it is obvious that Emily is a true outsider. She shuts out the townspeople, only allowing them to see certain aspects of herself and leaves them to speculate the rest. She lives with her father until his death. Any chance at love for Emily was denied due to her father driving potential men away so that he could have her all to himself. Having been sheltered and secluded by her father, she continues to lead that kind of lifestyle after his death.

Miss Emily’s home fits in with her character. Both are dark and mysterious. Emily rarely lets people into her life to see the real her so she remains dark and mysterious. Her home is also closed off to the townspeople. She rarely allows people into her home, and those that do find it layered with dust. The house is also falling into decay which also coincides with Emily’s aging and bloated and pallid appearance.

It is clear that Mr. Grierson was extremely controlling of Emily. He showed this in his attempt to drive potential suitors away. After his death, Emily attempts to take control by denying that he has passed and refusing to give up his body. Before they can resort to using the law to take his body, Emily finally gives in and releases the body to them so that he can be buried properly. The townspeople are not surprised by her actions. They felt it was something she needed to do because she had nothing left, so she had to cling to the one thing she did have, and that was her father.

Miss Emily follows her own rules. She does not abide by the law like everyone else. A deal had been made that she didn’t owe any taxes. Colonel Sartoris told her it was because her father had loaned the town money and therefore the taxes were remitted. When a new generation took over and sent her a bill, she either ignored it or sent back the bill with a...
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