How Did Emily Grierson Commit Murder?

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A lot of questions arise when one reads “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner for the first time. What motive did Emily Grierson have to commit murder? What bred a murderer in her? What conflicts did she face that led to this, and how were they resolved? If one examines the events of Emily’s life, the conflicts she faces, the setting she is in that speaks to her character, what changes she experiences throughout the story, and the narrator’s perception of her, then one can answer these questions. Plus, if one examines the types of critical-reading strategies at one’s disposal, there is a specific strategy that offers a fresh outlook on Faulkner’s story. On the outside, Emily Grierson may seem to lack motive, but she faces conflicts throughout the story that could have driven her to murder. First of all, she has lived with her father in her childhood home for decades. Through subtle hints and imagery, the reader learns that Emily’s life with her father was far from happy. Faulkner …show more content…
Her father, her lovers, and the townspeople make her the reclusive, creepy killer that she is. The solution to every problem in her life is death, which is about the only noticeable change in “A Rose for Emily.” Although the townspeople’s biased perspective can affect the reader’s understanding of Emily, they may be correct in their diagnosis of insanity. The setting and time-period she lives in are also very important. Her home reflects her character: aged, faded, and part of history. The time period is an interesting factor, because it requires one to consider the gender roles of the late nineteenth century. Overall, Emily Grierson faces serious conflicts that could have bettered her character, but instead, she morphs into something eerie, unreadable, and dark. Of course, because of the unreliable narration, one can only speculate about her character; one cannot speak with certainty on the matter of Miss

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