Books Rose for Emily a (Short Story)
Subject(s): BOOKS; ROSE for Emily, A (Short story)
Author(s): Wallace, James M.
Source: Explicator, Winter92, Vol. 50 Issue 2, p105, 3p
Abstract: Asserts that Faulkner's `A Rose for Emily' is about, among other things gossip, and how through the narrator, we implicate ourselves and reveal our own phobias and fascinations. Narrator's comments vitally important; Approach reading by ignoring all temptations to discuss Oedipal complexes, sexual preferences, and scandal; Best to refuse discussion of characters except for the narrator.
Persistent link to this record: http://search.epnet.com/direct.asp?an=9208101832&db=aph
Database: Academic Search Premier
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FAULKNER'S A ROSE FOR EMILY
From the lack of critical commentary on Homer Barron's sexuality, we might conclude that scholars are ignoring a question often raised and vigorously answered by undergraduates, who can be homophobic or just fascinated with even mild sexual references in literature: Homer Barron, they insist, is homosexual. But now the scholars have spoken, apparently legitimizing the suspicion that "Miss Emily's beau is gay" (Blythe 49).
To support this contention, Blythe and many students cite as a key piece of evidence the narrator's explanation of why Homer did not marry Emily:
Then we said, "She will persuade him yet," because Homer himself had remarked--he liked men, and it was known that he drank with the younger men in the Elks' Club--that he was not a marrying man. (126)
The comment is not, of course, Faulkner's, nor is it entirely a paraphrase of Homer's original comment, as Blythe suggests it is. The statement is the narrator's, and that part of the sentence most indicting--the part between the dashes--is spoken suggestively, with a sly wink and a nudge of the elbow, in an attempt to disparage Homer's character. To believe that the narrator here reveals something true