In “ A Rose for Emily”, by William Faulkner, Emily Grierson faces many tribulations in her life. Every aspect of her life is deteriorating and death is a main factor in this. As time begins to fade so does every part of Emily; her appearance, her family, her friends, and eventually herself. Emily’s relationship with her father is more involved than any other father daughter relationship. After his death Emily’s life begins to spiral out of control and nothing is the same ever again.
Emily’s father is extremely protective of her through her entire life. Her father “ had constantly interposed himself between Emily and any male interested in courting her”(Scherting,400). Although not clearly stated by Faulkner, many believe there is incest in their relationship. “ Emily Grierson was possessed by an unresolved Oedipal complex”(Scherting,399). For a long period of time Emily’s father was the only man in her life. He provided her with love and cared for her, so much that at his death she refused to give up his corpse.
When Emily’s father passed away she was in denial. When the neighbors came by the house to show their sympathy, Emily came to the door and told them her father was not dead. She acted as if nothing was wrong, dressed in normal clothes showing no sign of grief. Emily kept this attitude up for three more days never allowing anyone to take her father corpse from the house. Finally, right before the town was going to take legal action, she decided ton abide and burry her father. “ And the people of Jefferson in removing his corpse, had robbed her of the only man in her life”(Scherting,401). After his death Emily was never the same and her life truly began to deteriorate. She lost the only relationship she ever knew and the only male influence on her like she ever had. “ Understandably, then, his death was an extremely traumatic event in her life-so traumatic that she could not consciously cope with it”(Scherting,400).