A Rose for Emily: Viewpoint

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William Faulker’s “A Rose for Emily”, is a story told from the viewpoint of a

resident of the town which Emily was, born, raised, and eventually died in. There is a

very dark and ominous feel to this story, which mainly revolves around death. The story

takes place in the south, where at the time, slaves were newly emancipated and things are

taking to quite a change. Even though the Gierson family was very powerful and well

known, nothing could have been done to save Ms. Emily. As generations passed you

could clearly see that the town was undergoing a great change, in which Emily was not

ready for.

As a child, Emily seemed to grew up in the lap of luxury, her father took great

care of her, and wanted the best for his only daughter. Though his love was great, he

seemed almost as a tyrant of Emily’s life. He controlled everything she did, felt no man

was a good suitor for Emily, and probably allowed her no friendships. The Giersons were

cut from a different clothe, and her father wanted to make sure that everyone in town

knew this. This being, the only real contact with the outside world that Emily could

enjoy, was that of which her father dictated to her. This early trauma Emily had to endure

did a great un-justice to her emotionally, crippling her for the rest of her life.

Many doctors will say the most important years of your life, are the early ones. It

is clear that Emily had no real grasp of a family unit, or how it should function. There

was no mother figure spoke of, just her father, which she lived with alone other then

family servants until he died. Upon her father’s death, this early trauma is shown in her

mental and emotional state, or therefore lack of. Her father was her only friend, he was

all she knew in the world, and with out him she almost had nothing to live for. “Being

left alone, and pauper, she had become humanized.” (Page 31) this quote shows that

Emily didn’t have the slightest clue how to survive on her own without her father, but

now she was forced to grow up and get along all by herself.

Soon after her father’s death, townspeople came by to offer condolence to the girl

who had lost the person she really knew. This repression of Emily’s father dying was

bursting at the seems when she proclaimed to them that her father hadn’t died! This

repression and fear of abandonment go hand in hand with each other, Emily is now left

alone unaware of what to do with herself now that her father or tyrant wasn’t around to

order her around. Soon after she ignored orders to have a proper funeral for her father,

she finally broke down and allowed doctors to come and dispose of the corpse.

Now that her father was gone, Emily, had been protected so much in her earlier

years that this did her a great harm, she was ill prepared for the new generation of the

south’s new booming economy. Soon after her father’s death, Emily fell ill. This kept her

indoors for a long period of time, leaving the town of Jefferson to prosper without her, or

the Gierson legacy. This was most likely a very strenuous time for Emily, left with

nothing but memories of her father. This time was not spoke of in the text, but I feel it a

very important part of Emily’s life history and how she later came to be as an elderly

women.

Again repression, and fear of abandonment play a very strong role in this story.

Emily is now left to put these memories in the back of her head, and go on living out her

life, even as unready as she is. Emily would still show herself in a very Gierson like

fashion, feeling she was above everyone else, and that she needed no help in grieving

with her father’s death. Once again when she was ready, Emily was seen around town,

but not alone, now with a new man in her life.

The south at this time, was very rural, and after the slaves had been emancipated,

it needed...
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