The Devastating Outcome of Oppression:
An Analysis of William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily”
When a person has only been taught dysfunctional love, it is all too often that this is the only kind of love they will ever experience. In “A Rose for Emily”, William Faulkner explores an unorthodox relationship between an aristocratic southern lady named Miss Emily Grierson, and a blue-collar northern fellow named Homer Barron. The narrator, who likely represents the townspeople, describes Miss Emily’s unusual father in detail. Because of this illuminating description, the reader is able to begin to understand the strange dynamic Mr. Grierson and his daughter share. The story reveals how an over-controlling parent can negatively influence their child’s life and how this influence will introduce complications in later years. During a time of dramatic tiers in social class, the narrator hints heavily towards a compelling social explanation for the love interest in the tale. Of related interest is the emotional rational and significance of the relationship between Homer and Emily. The storyteller allows the reader to come to understand why Emily is drawn towards Homer on a mental and emotional level. It is of paramount importance that only after Emily’s father dies does she connect with Homer. An oppressive upbringing, a seemingly elevated social class, and a damaged emotional state are the central ingredients which fuel the uncharacteristic love interest in Faulkner’s gothic and mysterious tale.
Miss Emily Grierson, the protagonist in the story, is exceedingly restricted by her father and is deprived of the possibility of a love life growing up. Raised by her father, Emily is taught that she is of a higher class than the rest of the town. The narrator remembers that “none of the young men were quite good enough for Miss Emily” (31). This demonstrates the unrealistic standards Emily’s father sets for her. Emily’s father is a domineering man who...
Cited: Faulkner, William. “A Rose for Emily.” An Introduction to Fiction. 10th Ed. X.J. Kennedy, D. Gioia. New York: Pearson Longman, 2007. 29-34.
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