Character Analysis

Topics: Insanity, A Rose for Emily, Protagonist Pages: 2 (606 words) Published: March 23, 2013
Emily the Fallen Rose
In the story “A Rose for Emily”, William Faulkner uses characterization to reveal the character of Miss Emily. Her character is portrayed through physical description, her actions, feelings and words, and through the narrator's remarks about Emily’s nature, and through the actions, words, and feelings, of the other characters. In "A Rose for Emily", William Faulkner creates a story about a woman who loses her sense of reality after her father died and losing everything they ever owned, and then falling for a man who was not true to her. This paper discusses the character of Emily and how she suffers from mental instability. Miss Emily Grierson, the main character, lives for many years as a hermit, a person who lives, to some degree, in seclusion from society. "No visitor had passed since she ceased giving china-painting lessons eight or ten years earlier" (Faulkner 30). Faulkner shows Miss Emily's attempt to remove herself from interaction with society through her actions. "After her father's death she went out very little; after her sweetheart went away, people hardly saw her at all" (31). The death of her father and the torn relationship with her true love contributed to her living in seclusion.

The town played a part in Miss Emily’s insanity. There were several complaints of a foul smell coming from her house A member of the Board of Aldermen suggested Miss Emily be told to clean up her property. “Dammit sir”, Judge Stevens said, “will you accuse a lady to her face of smelling bad” (31). The druggist also allows her to purchase arsenic without verifying what she planned to do with the arsenic. By law, Miss Emily was supposed to advise the druggist what her intentions with the arsenic were. She did not.

Miss Emily’s father was mainly responsible for her becoming a hermit and her pride also played a role of her living in seclusion. "None of the young men were quite good...

Cited: Faulkner, William. “A Rose for Emily.” Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama and Writing. 11th ed.
Eds. X. J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. New York: Pearson-Longman 2010. 30-35. Print
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