The Power of Fear in A Rose for Emily
A Rose for Emily Life is fickle and most people will be a victim of circumstance and the times. Some people choose not to let circumstance rule them and, as they say, “time waits for no man”. Faulkner’s Emily did not have the individual confidence, or maybe self-esteem and self-worth, to believe that she could stand alone and succeed at life especially in the face of changing times. She had always been ruled by, and depended on, men to protect, defend and act for her. From her Father, through the manservant Tobe, to Homer Barron, all her life was dependent on men.
The few flashes of individuality showed her ability to rise to the occasion, to overcome her dependency, when the action was the only solution available. Like buying the poison or getting money by offering china-painting classes.
Life is sad and tragic; some of which is made for us and some of which we make ourselves. Emily had a hard life. Everything that she loved left her. Her father probably impressed upon her that every man she met was no good for her. The townspeople even state “when her father died, it got about that the house was all that was left to her; and in a way, people were glad…being left alone…She had become humanized” (219). This sounds as if her father’s death was sort of liberation for Emily. In a way it was, she could begin to date and court men of her choice and liking. Her father couldn’t chase them off any more. But then again, did she have the know-how to do this, after all those years of her father’s past actions? It also sounds as if the townspeople thought Emily was above the law because of her high-class stature. Now since the passing of her father she may be like them, a middle class working person. Unfortunately, for Emily she became home bound.
She didn’t socialize much except for having her manservant Tobe visit to do some chores and go to the store for her. Faulkner depicts Emily and her family as a high social class. Emily did carry her self with dignity and people gave her that respect, based from fear of what Emily could do to them. Emily was a strong willed person especially when she went into the drug store for the arsenic.