A Rose for Emily: Pressures of Society

Topics: Sociology, Norm, William Faulkner Pages: 2 (586 words) Published: November 26, 2011
Pressures of Society
Most people desire to fit in with the social norm. People do not want to be outcasts or different. Everyone in a society tries to fit into their cookie cutter forms to make themselves just like everyone else. Society does not like those who don't fit in and meet their standards. In the short story "A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner, the main character Emily lives in a society full of high morals and monetary status. The setting plays a huge role on the actions of Emily and forces her to seclude herself from the rest of society.

"A Rose for Emily" takes place in post- civil war Jefferson, a small town in the deep south of the United States. The setting of the story helps illuminate the values of society during that time. Emily's society was built on the beliefs that the white, upper-class citizens were far more superior to everyone else. Being that they were more superior, everyone was held to a higher standard. The people of Jefferson were expected to have prim and proper houses and yards, high morals, and to obey all of the town's laws. While Emily was part of the upper-class, she did not quite fit in to society's cookie cutter mold. Emily's house was an eyesore to the rest of the town, she was said to be dating a gay man who was of the working class, and she did not pay her taxes. The people of the town began to question Emily's sanity because she was not just like everyone else. "Some of the ladies began to say that it was a disgrace to the town and a bad example to the young people....but at last the ladies forced the Baptist minister....to call upon her." (94-95) These actions show how much society truly wanted to change Emily's way of life so she would fit in with them and stop ruining their image.

The southern country setting with these harsh conditions led Emily to lock herself in her home in order to seclude herself from society. Emily did not feel welcome in her society. She knew that the others judged her and looked down...
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