First Person Perspective in a Rose for Emily
In William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily”
Submitted by: Sofia Calenda
Submitted to: Professor Kent Walker
13 June 2013 In William Faulkner’s short story, “A Rose for Emily”, the narrator, a citizen of the town, reinforces the characterization of Emily as he portrays her to be a crazy, mysterious, woman imprisoned in her own home. The story is written from the townsperson’s point of view, which allows for the reader to analyze the story from an outsider’s perspective. The significance of his point of view is it draws the reader to question Emily and her relationship with others both inside and outside her house. The gossip among the townspeople demonstrate the disconnect between Emily and the rest of society. For the purpose of this assignment, the narrator is male, although the story does not specify the gender. The narrator’s commentary portrays a state of ambivalence for Emily; a sympathetic embrace due to the series of unfortunate events in her life, yet the citizen’s pity regresses at times.
Emily is portrayed as a lonely woman who was controlled by her father. When he was alive, he was said to “drive away” all the men who were trying to pursue Emily (732). This suggests Emily was not able to have a love life as her father “robbed her” of these conquests (732). Thus, after her father passed away, it was then she felt a sense of freedom to pursue a relationship with another. Once Homer and Emily became a couple, the citizens gossiped about their relationship. They commented on Emily’s willingness to commit suicide and Homer’s sexuality. This suggests the couple is not meant to be, foreshadowing the end of their relationship.
In contrast, she had to be persuaded to release her late father’s body after he passed away. It was as if she did not want to let go of the freedom in which her father has given her by passing away. The citizens noticed a difference in Emily from the time her