Theme of Isolation in William Faulkner’s A Rose for Emily

Human interaction is an absolute necessity for the well being of a human. Despite the damage that can be done when one is hurt by another, the lack of connection is deadly. A gruesome tale that follows miss Emily Grierson in A rose for Emily by William Faulkner where the author utilizes several tools to dissect how extreme isolation and abandonment may lead a person to such horrendous crimes such as necrophilia.

In doing so, death and a resistance to modern ideas became another normality in the story which lead to the death of a woman’s humanity. All proof of how essential affection is the happiness of a person over all.

The damage caused to a person may be observed in the public’s highly judgmental,gossipy,and sometimes hypocritically attitude about her and the inability of a person to build any relationships due to the isolation. Emily Grierson is subject to the scrutiny of her whole town in several points of her life. From the very beginning at her funeral the town’s people gave way to several aspects of their home which may explain their society. The first section of the story disseminates that she is part of their oncemost select street and now, her once high class house had become an eyesore among eyesores. This rift that Emily’s family had with the townspeople led to their belief that she was an obligation to the town. Like her house and it’s unwillingness to be updated Emily soaks in her stubbornness by refusing to pay her taxes. Demonstrating the lack of respect of authority for the new leaders of the town. She treated them with a cold and dry attitude that demanded respect and patience. Emily never cared for the new authorities of the town and even indicated her alienation and isolation when she for the claims confirmation of a person that passed away almost ten years beforehand. The second section divulges into her tense relationship with the town. The town didn’t dare confront her about the taxes nor the about the odor coming from her house.A smell that serves as a foreshadow that there is something rotting away in her house, so much so the they decided to secretly spread lime all around her property. And yet, despite all the indications, all the scrutinization, and observations they make of Miss Emily they ironically fail to realise that she is deeply disturbed,criminally insane, and neglect the discovery of the murder until 40 years after.Once again proving that the drift she had with the town remained as deep and wide as before the death of her father. Despite their efforts to get close to her after the death of her father, her cold attitude and rejection of the towns pitty did nothing to better her situation. Only sunk her even deeper into her loneliness, desperation, and madness.

Her father became the trauma that set the foundation to her disturbed mind. The fact that her father was described as this looming figure that scared away any suitors explained why after he died she had kept his body. Her instability was evident when the only reason she let them take her father’s body away was due to the fact that they knew he died. Her obsession with death showed how powerless, lonely, and angry she felt towards her father. She is a psychopath driven by her extreme desperation for revenge against her father and her bitterness towards the outside world. Indicating that this is what she wanted until an outsider was let into Emily’s world. This short lived happiness was just that. Short lived. Soon their relationship crumbled. Her incapacity to hold an actual relationship with someone is very clear and amplifies her loneliness and the effects of her abandonment. He abandoned her, setting off a trigger in her disturbed soul. When Homer her dashing beau that was often seen with emily around the town after he came to the town and was the center of attention, altered her reality it was as dangerous. This isn’t exaggerated when her behavior is further analyzed. He gave her a dose of normal human interaction. Because of her past, she was deprived of this so when he took away, that she sunk into her desperation she decided to keep his company all to herself. Killing him was the only way she understood how to keep that happiness forever. Therefore , the lack of love in her life set the foundation of her instability.

Emily’s home is a mirrored image of herself with a bond that ages with her. From her beauty and prestige the house that stood proudly in the most “select street’ as did Emily’s beauty. Her purity with the years morphed into a smell of decay. In the same way Emily, once young and full of despair, has been driven into madness through the rotting of the old ways and the birth of a modern era. At the same time, her aging in unison with the house and the servant become part of her distorted view on what is love.A monster was being hidden in a rotting house. And that monster was Emily herself. She constitutes the stubbornness and refusal to change. Insisting in the old ways, in the old agreements, in an old house is the very description of her unawareness of the outside world. This type of difficult lifestyle is driven by the miserable people that know no different than their reality. Why would she alter her views when all she has seen is a town controlled by her oppressing father? This is crucial proof that people would rather wallow in their misery than to change. With a father like hers and a lack of a mother figure there is no chance she is able to be a functional adult. Despite there being no rose manifested in the story, the title introduced it as the idea of love. A rose that is dried up and conserved in the pages of an old book she is, in the same manner conserving Homer’s body in his wedding clothes inside the closed off room of the house. As a young girl, suitors lined up and yet she never was allowed the chance to accept the rose of love. This deep despair that she felt when she realized that there is no happy ending , which caused her to drown in madness. The key factor or lack of love is the effects of human warmth that she so desperately needed.

The caliber of her taste in the eye of the town is high, therefore Homer wasn’t good enough for her. Emily doesn’t care about that; she lets herself be seen with him. She actually stepped out of the house to allow everyone to determine the nature of their relationship. Her father was no longer around to say anything about it. She for that short amount of time was able to free herself from her father’s oppression and feel what a normal person feels. This is detrimental to her ability to function as a normal person. Family should be a good support system when everything is going wrong, but for Emily, even that wasn’t an option. Her two cousins from Alabama visit her and stay with Miss Emily to assure that her behavior doesn’t violate their southern society’s strict code of propriety while she and Homer are romantically involved with one another. They didn’t come around when her father died and were nowhere to be found as she grew up and yet the only thing they cared about was appearances. Family is supposed to provide support when at home things aren’t right. Yet, here they were lacking familial love towards Miss Emily. This proves that they possess similar attitudes as her father despite that they allowed this romance. She was indifferent to this, but the truth is that if she now experienced what true affection was, then she would have recognised her family had none of that for her. This is truly saddening and her familys departure is different than all of the others because she might even have been relieved that they left. Her family saw that she had no one and yet decided to leave anyways, this must have been nothing to her since all of the the other abandonments had dangers aftermath. For instance her father’s death lead to her isolation and unconventional behavior.The abandonment of Homer lead to his murder, but she was seemingly passive to her family desertion. So her issues are due to her father’s strict rule over her life.

A monster isn’t born, it’s created. In this disturbing short story A Rose for Emily is the proof that in order for a person to have a healthy morality they must have some sort of connection anything outside of a toxic home. Miss Emily isn’t a functional human because she lived in forced isolation all of her life. Inside of her house she lived in extreme despair and loneliness, slowly rotting away without any sort of human connection. The lack of affection became deadly to her and whomever attempted to get close to her. From her authoritarian father, her dashing lover, and finally her sanity all rotted away in her home. Extreme isolation and abandonment may lead a person to such horrendous crimes such as necrophilia due to the fact that going without human contact for too long may literally break a heart.

Women’s Pov On A Rose for Emily

Down south women were scrutinized by society and men till the 1900’s. Gender roles were a big part of that time. Women were commonly expected to be wives, cooks and cleaners in households.

Being anything less was likely to be viewed as different and a topic of conversation for others. In fact, women had got the right to vote in the 1920’s. That alone shows how late and institutionalized women were viewed at that time. In the short story A Rose for Emily by author William Faulkner although its not pinpointed on who the narrator is it’s clear that the people of the community of Jefferson speak individual and nitpick on Emily Grierson life. Without an exact gender narrator, the eye of the story is open to both male and female interpretations.

The townspeople show a lot of scrutiny towards Emily and she was forced upon many gender roles. Faulkner mentions of oppressive sexism in the South and Miss Emily’s consistent dependence on men throughout her life; like her father, her man-servant, Colonial Santoris, and Homer Barron are evidence of a bigger problem. Miss Emily Grierson is a victim of a patriarchal oppression that has controlled her life since her birth; because of her upbringing with her father and the pressure from the townspeople. She feels pressured to obey to the typical gender norms of the period and struggle for a male presence to rely on. For a while, Miss Emily seems to personify the feminine ideal. She complies to her father, accepting his control and following to his demands; she, in her youth, demonstrates the quiet and submissive female role. Nonetheless, this begins to change once her father passes. Emily refuses to accept that he has died, and she won’t allow the authorities to come and get his body. Although in one point of view, we could still think this as a somewhat weird and gruesome sign of her continued loyalty to him, it also starts to show proof of a change in Emily’s role. Starting in the first sentence of the story the existence of gender roles in the story appear early on. Faulkner begins the stages of her life from Miss Emily’s Funeral, saying that the men are attending through a sort of respectful affection for a fallen monument while the women are only there mostly out of curiosity to see the inside of her house. In this case, Faulkner immediately starts the story off by distinguishing women as gossipers, prying, and curious. While the men, however, are viewed in a way that guards them of their wives’ insensitivity.

Miss Emily fought against all odds of gender roles in her own town. She ignored many naysayers and marched to her own beat after her father’s death. Though she was kept off and secretive she was strong and resilient towards the townspeople and even her future lover. The community were surprised to find that Miss Emily had began a relationship with Homer Barron, a man that was below her social caliaber and previous family wealth. Shocked that Miss Emily had abandoned her own social status in order to find a man, saying Of course a Grierson would not think seriously of a Northerner, a day laborer and later going on to say that her kinsfolk should come to her to help to set her straight. In this case, the people of the town were holding Emily to the belief that a woman should be concerned about her reputation, and if she doesn’t that she has gone crazy. She steps quite far out of the submissive female role when she buys rat poison, lies to the cashier about her reason for buying it, and then uses it to kill her lover, Homer Barron. Homer Barron was African-American and a man’s man, loved by the men he meets–both blacks and whites–but who is controlled by Emily. Instead of her risking him leaving her, a move that she begins to seem is expected, she becomes manipulative and devious, working out a way to control him. She must kill Homer in order to keep him with her, and so she gives up all the leftovers of her past femininity and adopts a more masculine activity, poisoning him in order to keep their own isolation together.

More than just men and women were serious separations to one another in that time. Without a doubt, the most obvious value in Faulkner’s story is tradition. Miss Emily lives in the down south which is heavily into the traditions of gender roles, nobility, courtship behaviors, and race issues. Miss Emily lived under a lot of rules, that were set by the southern society, by her father, and by the community. None of the admirers who pursued Emily were considered good enough for her father, and so she remained unmarried and isolated for years. Society set rules for black/white relationships or relations, for male/female relations, and for socio-economic relations. Wealth separations were a big factor to social class and still is today. The wealthy were not to associate with the lower class, single women weren’t to spend time alone with men when not accompanied by a supervisor, and there were precise rules regarding the communion of black and white people. Reputation is a big part of their tradition, and Miss Emily held fast to the reputation of her family name. She was stuck in her tradition and couldn’t have changed totally to keep up with the modernizations of the community and town even if she had wanted to, the south was very much a big part of her still till her death. Marriage was a major part of the tradition in Jefferson for men and women who spent unchaperoned time together which is why Homer ended up the way he did at the end.

Segregation and Jim Crow laws were still in rule of the mostly white dominated south and Faulkner’s Jefferson, Mississippi was no exception to it. African Americans were usually treated as second class citizens–servants as well, but not as equals to the whites of Jefferson. It shows the surrounding clearly by the sayings Faulkner wrote. By telling us about Colonel Santoris mindset, and also Emily. We learn what kind of people they are. The colonel was mayor and therefore in a position of power, and he used that power to keep the African Americans beneath him. Colonel stating Alive, Miss Emily had been a tradition, a duty, and a care; a sort of hereditary obligation upon the town. Colonel Santoris and Emily are town institutions. Since Colonel Santoris had been the mayor, he established the town and its moral codes. At that time, African Americans were free citizens, but no one was going to see them as equals, especially in the south. After her father dies, Emily becomes a hermit but keeps a African American man as a servant. We did not even know she was sick; we had long since given up trying to get any information from the Negro. He talked to no one, probably not even to her, for his voice had grown harsh and rusty, as if from disuse. The women still continuing to gossip about her in the town after her death even going so low as to communicating with the servant for more details on her. Emily is still important to the town, but she is more of a myth or legend at this point of her death than a real person. It’s really ironic how her only human contact was a African American for many years but was still being judged for being mute. She never saw him as an equal either, but as an inferior instead.

A Rose for Emily clearly showed symbols and characters that reveal the sexism and harsh gender roles that was widespread throughout the south in the 1900s time period, especially towards women. The presence of the townspeople behaved as a public jury, relentlessly judging and gossiping curiously about Miss Emily for years about every social mishap she made. Beginning from her birth, it seems that she was born into a world that was not in favor for her. Her father seemed to be a dispiriting figure in the foreground of her life, closing her in and pushing her away from any suitors interested. From then on, it seems that she worked hard to secure another male figure in her life, not as a search for love, but instead for security from a man. The widespread desire of Miss Emily to be dependent on a male shows the continuous thought that a woman must have a male presence in her life to be fully secure, a common role for women to have back in the day. This view formed and controlled the path of Miss Emily’s life, eventually leading her to kill in order to feel comfort and security.

A Rose for Emily: Plot Overview

In section one the creator discusses when Emily Grierson’s dad had passed away and the entire neighborhood went to her home and clarifies how nobody had truly been in that home for a long time. What’s more, the town of Jefferson was an exceptionally decent neighborhood brimming with mystique however Emily’s home was the just a home in Jefferson in recognition of it. Colonel Sartoris was the town’s old mayor and had made Emily quit making her pay her taxes directly after her Father had passed on due in light of the fact that that Mr.

Grierson had helped the town with cash. The new townspeople of Jefferson who were currently in charge needed Emily to keep making her pay taxes yet Emily rejected and did not give the Leading body of Councilmen a chance to motivate her to keep making payments on government expenses and revealed to her Negro worker Tobe to escort them out.

Section 2 – The author in section two goes back to a time 30 years ago when there was a strong smell coming from her home and many people of the town Jefferson were complaining about this to the Mayor. Things were getting difficult for Emily and her father had just died and also the person she loved had abandoned her the people from Jefferson believed that was who she would marry. People continue to complain about the horrible odor and Judge Steven who was the mayor of the town at the time comes up with a plan to fix this and they use lemon juice around her house to get rid of the odor and a couple of days pass and the bad smell goes away a little bit. The town of Jefferson always felt that the Griersons thought they were better than everyone else. Emily’s father would scare off any man due to the fact they were not good enough for her to marry them. Then one day after many women from the town of jefferson visit Emily because of her father’s death Mr. Griersons. Emily was so hurt about her father’s death and doesn’t want to accept the fact he is dead and she keeps the body after three days she gives up the body for burial.

Section 3 – In section three the author talks about Emily and gets really sick and is in so much suffrage after just dealing with her father’s death. In the summer right after Emily’s father died the town paved sidewalks under the command of northerner Homer Barron. Soon Homer Barron is very noticed and becomes a famous person that’s well known in the town of jefferson and takes Emily every sunday afternoon on buggy rides and the people in the town notice and start to feel sorry for Emily. The town of Jefferson feels that Emily is leaving her family legacy and is falling for the man beneath her station. Emily then goes to the drug store to obtain poison called arsenic and it’s the law to state why you are using this and Emily states no reason and arrives to her house as rat poison.

Section 4 – Many people in Jefferson are anxious that Emily bought poison and they think she might use it to commit suicide. Her relationship with Homer doesn’t look like it’s going to well and the women of Jefferson think Emily should speak to the Baptist Minister. When the Minister visits Emily never speaks of what went on and insists that he will never go back to the home of Emily. The wife of the Minister writes to Emily’s two relative cousins in Alabama, who arrive for an extended stay. Because Emily orders a silver toilet set monogrammed with Homer’s initials talk of the couple’s marriage resumes. Homer, absent from town, is believed to be preparing for Emily’s move to the North or avoiding Emily’s intrusive relatives and Homer is one day seen going into emily’s house but never seen again. Later Emily grows obese and old with gray hair although she teaches children china painting she still doesn’t go out much and is a very isolated person. Then Emily dies at age seventy-four and her servant is the only person seen going in and out the house.

Section 5 – So when Emily dies they set he in the private room in her home and women and townspeople and her two cousins go to her funeral. After a long time the door that has been closed for forty years is opened up by the people of Jefferson. As the people of Jefferson enter they see many things for a wedding as if it was postponed. Then laid out on the bed is Homer Barron’s body that is just decomposing and the townspeople were so surprised to see this behind the door they just opened. They notice that the pillow next to the dead body had seem like if someone was laying right next to it and a bunch of Emily’s gray hair is is on the pillow.

Comparing William Faulkner’s Short Stories: A Rose for Emily and Dry September

Three key components connect William Faulkner’s two short stories “A Rose for Emily” and “Dry September”: sex, passing, and ladies (King 203). Organizing his two stories against a scenery of clich?© characters and a southern code of respect, Faulkner purposely retains essential points of interest, parts ordered occasions, and breakers the past with the present to infer the character’s demonstration and inspiration.

The characters in Faulkner’s southern culture are drawn from three social levels: the privileged people, the townspeople, and the Negroes (Volpe 15). In “A Rose for Emily,” Faulkner portrays Miss Emily Grierson in streaming, enlightening sentences. Once a “slim figure in white,” the last descendent of a once in the past well-to-do blue-blooded family develops into a “little, chubby lady dressed in dark, with a thin gold anchor diving to her abdomen and vanishing into her belt, inclining toward a midnight stick with a discolored gold head” (Faulkner, Literature 25-27). In spite of her reduced budgetary status, Miss Emily displays her blue-blooded attitude via conveying her head high “as though she requested like never before the acknowledgment of her pride as the last Grierson” (28). In a similarly clear way, Faulkner paints a composed picture of Miss Minnie Cooper in “Dry September.” He depicts her as an old maid “of agreeable individuals – not the best in Jefferson, but rather sufficient individuals” and “still on the slim side of normal looking, with a splendid faintly worn down way and dress (Faulkner, Reader 520). Cleanth Brooks sheds impressive understanding on Faulkner’s perspective of ladies. He takes note of that Faulkner’s ladies are “the source and sustainer of uprightness and furthermore a prime wellspring of fiendishness. She can be either, in light of the fact that she is, as man isn’t, generally a little past great and wickedness. With her intense characteristic drives and her sense for the solid and individual, she doesn’t have to obsess about her choices” (Brooks, Faulkner 33). The activities of the two fundamental characters, Miss Emily and Miss Minnie, separately, in “A Rose for Emily” and “Dry September,” substantiate Brooks’ speculation. After Miss Emily, a mainstay of ideals in the public arena, kills her lover, Homer Barron, she lays down with his body for quite a few years, apparently without regret. Additionally, Miss Minnie shows no indications of regret about impelling the bits of gossip which prompted the demise of Will Mayes. Miss Minnie’s associates trait her hysterics as indications of anguish rather than exotic delight because of the recharged enthusiasm of the townspeople. Miss Emily and Miss Minnie are at the same time upright and unjust; two ladies blameless who cover their transgressions behind a southern code of respect and gallantry. A code dependent on appearance as opposed to truth. Early southern culture set extraordinary accentuation on a lady’s virtue. An unmarried lady was seen as unadulterated, immaculate, flawless. The ‘gentler sex’ supported this picture by expecting an ostensibly delicate yet created appearance. Be that as it may, this exterior of delicacy disguises an iron-willed quality, once in a while equipped for dangerous acts. Southern culture ensured this picture, making it workable for a lady to submit demonstrations of enthusiasm without regret. Faulkner looks at the elements of ladies in southern culture with streaming, clear sentences.

In direct examination of the composed representation of southern ladies, Faulkner’s generalizations of the southern men incorporate nondescript Negroes and drab whites. Tobe, Miss Emily’s old dark hireling, in “A Rose for Emily” is subservient, yet immovable to the white society. He opens entryways, concedes guests, and shops for Miss Emily, yet never talks about her to the inquisitive townspeople. The dark injured individual, Will Mayes, in “Dry September,” surrenders, meekly arguing for answers, after a short physical battle with the white crowd. Interestingly, the clich?© southern white male is either aloof and limited like the city specialists managing Miss Emily or compelling and furious like John McLendon, who drives the rankled crowd against Will Mayes.

Faulkner additionally represents southern culture by catching “the moderate southern drawl of the Southern Negro, the tone of the rednecks’ discourse designs, and the more refined tones and lingual authority of the informed townspeople” without diverting the peruser’s consideration with overstated word usage or language structure (Volpe 44-45). In a moderate southern drawl, Will Mayes begs his attackers, “What all of you going to do with me, Mr. John? I ain’t done nothing….” (Faulkner, Reader 523-524). The tone and exchange of the Negroes are not the same as the unpleasant discussion of the rednecks who utilize ‘Nigger’ without thought and the delicate, asking tones of Miss Minnie’s female sidekicks as they ask, “Do you feel solid enough to go out? When you have had room schedule-wise to get over the stun, you should disclose to us what occurred. What he said and did; everything” (525).

In spite of the fact that Faulkner utilizes streaming depictions, generalizations, and unmistakable discourse examples to make the significant characters in Jefferson, Mississippi, he deliberately abstains from entering the brains of his characters right when they settle on their choices. The demonstration and inspiration is just suggested (Brooks, Modern 9). The discolored monogramed latrine things recommend Homer is in the ghastly marriage chamber, and maybe harmed by Miss Emily’s before buy of arsenic. To recommend Miss Emily shared the marriage bed a “long strand of iron-silver hair” is lifted from the second pad (Faulkner, Literature 30-31). Also, in “Dry September,” Miss Minnie’s inspiration to charge Will Mayes in not unmistakably expressed. In any case, her thought process is suggested. As a maturing old maid, “the relaxing men did not pursue her with their eyes any longer” (Faulkner, Reader 522). After the homicide, Miss Minnie feels a sexy joy when the “young fellows relaxing in the entryway tipped their caps and pursued with their eyes the movement of her hips and legs when she passed (526). Furthermore, the passing of Will Mayes is inferred, not graphically appeared. Henry Hawkshaw sees just four individuals, rather than five, come back from the surrendered block furnace.

The two short stories share another similitude: the logical procedure of in media res. The work shows up amidst the story, and the portrayal streams forward and backward so as to set up inspiration and activities of the fundamental characters. In “A Rose for Emily,” the account “moves in reverse in three stages, and forward in ten,” lastly comes back to the present to speculate Miss Emily’s thought processes and activities in the demise of Homer Barron (Reed 99). Starting at Miss Emily’s memorial service when she was 74 years of age, the portrayal coolly reviews a moderately aged Miss Emily contending about the assessment obligation and denying Colonel Sartoris’ demise. The portrayal ventures back thirty years to the episode about the smell, and still further back so as to 1894 when Miss Emily denies her dad’s passing, forward to her romance with Homer Barron, and proceeds forward to her memorial service, with a retrogressive look at the requirement for Miss Emily to cover government obligations. Faulkner utilizes the method of in medias res in “Dry September.” The article pursues the opening scene in the hairstyling parlor. After the horde structures to rebuff Will Mayes the focal point of the story movements to Miss Minnie. Anticipation works before Faulkner uncovers dubious intentions in Miss Minnie’s conduct. Faulkner’s utilization of in medias res makes an air of riddle by hiding crucial pieces of information.

All through the two short stories, Faulkner gives the fundamental signs by “dividing sequential time, comparing accounts of the past with accounts of the present, in this manner uncovering the impact of the past on the present. Occasions of the past figure out what happens in the present. No demonstration, no thinking is secluded in time” (Volpe 30). Past occasions in Miss Emily’s life bolster her resulting activities. She precludes the passing from claiming her dad, framing an establishment of validity for her later disavowal of Homer Barron’s demise. The past wires with the present. Miss Emily’s conduct with the second era of city specialists reflects her conduct with the past age. They are “vanquished, steed and foot, similarly as she had vanquished their dads thirty years previously (Faulkner, Literature 26). Thus, in “Dry September,” the past wires with the present when Miss Minnie makes the doubt of being assaulted by Will Mayes as she had completed one year sooner about another man. As Faulkner watched, “the past isn’t dead. It isn’t even past” (qtd. in Kazin 28).

On a more extensive scale, racial issues bond the occasions of the past with the present. For quite a long time, “the white man unquestioningly acknowledges his regular prevalence over the Negro as his normal appropriate to utilize him” and “the Negro keeps on tolerating the job appointed to him” (Volpe 23, 36). Henry Hawkshaw, albeit persuaded of the dark man’s blamelessness, deserts Will Mayes after the crowd structures to rebuff the uninvolved, accommodating Negro, in this manner affirming Faulkner’s own perspectives on human instinct and racial issues: “It is a dismal critique on human instinct that is substantially less demanding, less difficult, and significantly more fun and fervor to be against something you can see, similar to dark skin, than to be for something you can just put stock in as a guideline, similar to equity and reasonableness” (Faulkner, Letters 395). Quite a few years after the fact, society has rolled out couple of improvements. Loathe violations are on the ascent. Violations of enthusiasm keep on happening. The past breakers with the present.

Another case of combination with the over a wide span of time is the southern code of respect. The gallant code, made by whimsical figment instead of by the real world, secured a lady’s notoriety. Faulkner looks at the tricky southern code of respect in his two short stories. To secure Miss Emily’s notoriety, the townspeople ask for family supervision as she is pursued by Homer Barron, however acknowledge without inquiry that “he was not a wedding man” (Faulkner, Literature 29).

Psychological Disorders in A Rose for Emily

A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner is one of the most popular short stories written by Faulkner. By Faulkner writing about the political and social ways of the South, Faulkner was creating an illusion of the New south, as being what we know today as America. To give background to A Rose for Emily, the story is divided into five sections.

In section I, the narrator recalls the time of Emily Grierson’s death and how the entire town attended her funeral in her home, which no stranger had entered for more than ten years. In section II, the narrator describes a time thirty years earlier when Emily resists another official inquiry on behalf of the town leaders, when the townspeople detect a powerful odor emanating from her property. In section III, the narrator describes a long illness that Emily suffers after this incident. Section IV continues the story of Emily’s courtship with Homer; as the courtship went on, the townsfolk decided to take action to prevent it, believing it to be improper. Last, but not least, section V returns to the present. After Emily’s death, Tobe leaves Jefferson and never returns. After Emily is buried, the townspeople explore her house, which none of them had seen in decades. In an upstairs room, they find the remains of Homer Barron in a bridal suite. The room is covered in dust and appears to have remained untouched for decades. On the pillow beside Homer’s corpse, they find a strand of Emily’s iron-gray hair.

Analytical themes in literature are what makes a story become relevant; when writing a story, you should be sure to tie in some type of critical lens, and that’s exactly what William Faulkner did. There were two categories, out of the many critical lenses, that A Rose for Emily fell into: Marxism and Psychoanalysis. Marxism studies how upper classes oppress, restrict, and use the lower class. It also studies struggles between classes, and struggles for wealth and power. Often times, racism is used as a distraction for poor people so they won’t unite, while Psychoanalysis studies text for psychological symbolism, motives, and themes; a psychoanalytic critic analyzes the characters as well as the story. Although there were two critical lenses, I believe that Psychoanalysis was the dominant theory.

Throughout her life, Emily was constantly barraged with her father’s insistence upon maintaining the bloodline of the Grierson family, and she had no mother to speak of to help combat that immense sense of duty and responsibility as the only child. By the time she was thirty, she still had yet to marry, which leads to the inevitable for a woman of that time: low self-esteem. Low self-esteem is the belief that we are less worthy than other people and, therefore, don’t deserve attention, love, or any other of life’s rewards. Indeed, we often believe that we deserve to be punished by life in some way (Tyson, 2006). With the mantra her father engrained into her mind of keeping the bloodline alive and strong, how could her mind resist the fall into low self-esteem? The text gives reason to imply that Emily eventually lost even her will to maintain her thin figure and her health: When we next saw Miss Emily, she had grown fat and her hair was turning grey (Faulkner). Unfortunately, low self esteem is not the only conflict Emily seemed to be dealing with psychologically; I will say that Emily is experiencing a fear of abandonment, too. It is safe to say that this situation is a perfect example of the idea that one core psychological issue can lead to another psychological issue. Also in the story, Emily is seen as a loner, and she deals very minimally with the outside world. Because she decided to detach herself from the outside world, she doesn’t allow anyone to get close to her, and she eventually kills the one man that became her friend before he could leave her.

I believe that those two core issues, together, made up Emily’s largest psychological issue, which was the need for control; the need for control ended up ruining her life in the long run. As stated previously, psychoanalysis studies text for psychological symbolism, motives, and themes, and in A Rose for Emily, Emily’s childhood made her into the women that she was then. Her dad tried to control her, and it carried over to her as she got older. I personally believe that Emily was miserable and because she was so miserable, she didn’t want other people happy. She ended up killing her friend, Homer Barron, for no reason, in my eyes.

From a psychological standpoint, Emily Grierson is the definition of a psychologically impaired woman. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, a qualified individual with a disability is one who, with or without reasonable modification to rules, policies, or practices, the removal of architectural, communication, or transportation barriers, or the provision of auxiliary aids and services, meets the essential eligibility requirements for the receipt of services or participation in programs or activities provided by a public entity. (2018) To start, a person with a disability is anyone with a physical or mental impairment that significantly limits one or more major life activities such as walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, caring for self, performing manual tasks, working, or learning.

According to Academics Speaking Intensive Program, Psychiatric/psychological disabilities (including, but not limited to, depressive, anxiety, and bipolar disorders) are considered disabilities under the ADA if a major life activity is substantially limited; a diagnosis by a licensed mental health professional, including clinical social workers (LCSW), professional counselors (LPC), psychologists, psychiatrists is required and should include the license number and date of the evaluation in the report on letterhead stationery. (2018) Emily was a Necrophiliac; a Necrophiliac is a lover of the dead. When her father died, she kept his body in the house for three days, and when she killed Homer Barron, they discovered that she kept his body in the house for years. Not only did she keep his body in the house for years, she slept with his body. Living a silent life, Emily Grierson becomes uncontainable and uncontrollable by the patriarchal society she is a part of. Her linguistically inexplicable existence constructs her as a counter discourse against the Law of the Father. Dreaming of a lost body and lost desires, she was psychologically impaired and needed help.

William Faulkner’s A Rose for Emily: A Southern Heritage Reflection

In William Faulkner’s short story, A Rose for Emily, the reader acknowledges the rude reality of Emily Grierson’s inability to be receptive of a new, dynamic and ever-changing world. Emily is not only lonely but also a mysterious lady, who lives in a large, post-civil war era home with her father. William Faulkner narrates this old and lonely lady’s story, precisely explicating how she remains stuck in her own timeframe.

Although her autocratic father died over thirty years earlier, Emily remains rigid and still holds onto her the way she lived her life before her father’s demise. According to Perry, Emily’s house, formerly luxurious white with scrolled balconies, has is now an excellent example of the most ghastly looking abode on the once most revered square in the town. Encroached with decay and dust, the house has left people in her city gossiping about her while at the same time pitying her lost soul. Perhaps due to loneliness and desperation, she soon gets in a romantic affair with Homer Barron, a young bachelor who works in a construction corporation paving footways on Emily’s city streets, Jefferson. The more the townspeople see them taking rides together, the more they talk and sympathize with her. In a dramatic twist of events, Emily’s public appearances with Homer lessen. One day Miss Emily is seen acquiring poison from a drug market.

“A Rose for Emily is fundamentally a tale of old versus new and tradition versus non-tradition. Faulkner brings these aspects into the limelight through the story’s main characters, Miss Emily and Homer. Right from the exposition of the text, it is clear that the story revolves around old versus new. Emily Grierson signifies the Old South. This essay will consequently discuss the cultural and historical significance of her character while drawing its examples from the traditional southern heritage.

Faulkner successfully creates a gloomy tone of “A Rose for Emily” particularly at the beginning of this epic tale chronicling the requiem of Miss Emily. With the story’s progression, the author takes the readers through distinctive moments in Miss Emily’s life, explicitly detailing how she was lost her own world as everything around her kept moving forward. Faulkner additionally employs foreshadowing, narrator point of view, and the southern gothic writing technique, to aid the reader form a visualization of Miss Emily, as well as the town. According to Rodgers, these elements also give the reader an insight into her environment a clear glimpse of her sanity.

Faulkner’s application of the southern gothic writing method is significant in the understanding of A Rose for Emily, as it helps the reader develop a mental depiction of the main character, Miss Emily. For instance, the town administration commissioned their envoys to discuss the levies that were owed, the author describes her as bloated, like a body long submerged in motionless water (2182). A depiction such as this presents the reader with the impression that Miss Emily is not well. His witty elucidation that she seemed bloated accomplishes his desired effect on the anthology’s reader to attest how disgusting she emerged. This photographic representation, merged with the Faulkner’s dismal portrayal of the parlor (2182), creates in the reader the image of death. Moreover, the reader gets the feeling of being in an interment parlor. This is crucial as it helps to reinforce Faulkner’s narrative and depiction of Miss Emily..

A significant theme in ”A Rose for Emily,” is the deterioration of the Old South, which connects to the southern cultural values and economic structure before the eruption of the Civil War (Beyer 34). In the prewar South, society consisted of slaves, tenant farmers, merchants, and the landed nobility. Throughout this time, aristocrats abided by the southern codes of honor. While men took up their positions as providers and protectors, women had to keep the highest levels of morality. The Griersons in “A Rose for Emily,” belong to the landed gentry class. They exhibit the superiority complex and arrogance that befits their status (Perry, 161). Emily’s father, for example, clearly displays this stance by deeming no local suitor deserves his daughter as a wife. Emily too displays the same attitude, shunning society from her life even long after her father’s death.

Miss Emily’s reaction toward her tax obligations, association with the townspeople, and her understanding of death are explicit examples that she is stuck in the past although the south has embraced modernism. With the passing and retiring from civil service of older generation members, the younger generation expects Emily to pay taxes to the local government as there was no written rule exempted her from doing so. She responds that Colonel Sartoris clarified to her that she did not owe any tax to Jefferson. Although Sartoris died ten years ago, she still clings to what she believes “Colonel had given his word, and according to the traditional view, his word knew no death. It is the past pitted against the present-the past with its social decorum, the present with everything set down in ‘the books ( Rodgers, 121). With this, she passes as an excellent representation of a superb keeper of the southern customs and traditions. Despite the modern industrialization characterized by large-scale crop production, motorized vehicles, and the construction of the railroad, Emily remains stuck in the old south, rigidly holding onto the old social values and oblivious of the fact that modernity had grossly decreased the power and influence of the landed gentry.

In conclusion, William Faulkner just like other Southern Gothic novelists concentrated on portraying southern experience and history in the United States particularly in the periods following the Civil War. They employed grotesque imagery, themes, and symbolism. Faulkner uses all these in A Rose for Emily to highlight the text’s primary concern, traditions versus change. His portrayal of Emily brings into sharp focus the struggles the old south conservatives went through in their efforts to preserve their cultural values amidst widespread modernization and industrialization. William Faulkner ultimately shows that failure to acknowledge change leads to peril as Emily, the epitome of tradition remains lonely throughout her life, incapable of even accepting the death of her father. She presents those who would not abandon the customs whose time had passed and this subjects them to dire consequences. Her rigidity finally leads to her death as she kills the handsome Northerner Homer, and later, submits a tremendous deal of condemnation and succumbs. By her murdering homer she endorses the fact that the conservatives could do anything to ensure they do not acknowledge industrialization, represented by Homer.

What Was Emily’s Relationship With Her Father?

While reading A Rose for Emily one may notice the deep, rich troves of meaning behind each sentence. Every line delving deep into the past. Imprinted hearts of those livings in the 18th century South with rooted hatred or, truthly, superiority for a race of people that had previously been held in bondage.

William Faulkner shows his understanding of the mindset people had during that age, which, in turn, makes his short story all the more complicated. The story shows the main character’s steady deterioration of health; the relationship between this character and a man named Homer Barron, a reconstruction contractor; and, the relationship between the main character and her father. Each of these mirrors real-time events and some symbolize possible people.

After the Civil War Era, there was a period known as Reconstruction, where the South was under complete Northern control. Five Military districts were set in place to keep order and prevent one authority from being overburdened. There is evidence of symbolism regarding these events with the character Homer Barron. The word baron was a term to signify nobility and the ownership of lands, including the people living there. It is not irrelevant concerning this character as he is the primary contractor for the town of Jefferson, Mississippi. Primarily tasked with the construction of roads and paving sidewalks, he was a stranger and symbolized northern, modern influence on a evolving society. Emily, on the other hand, is the definite symbolization of Southern pride and beauty, and the possibilities that slavery implies. Before the civil war, some southern Plantation owners had grown so rich and powerful that they even had a decent grasp on the government that controls them. They had 21 representatives in the House of Representatives due to their slave population. This power is mirrored in Emily, a monumental figure in her community from a long line of prideful people. Even in her death she was respected. WHEN Miss Emily Grierson died, our whole town went to her funeral: the men through a sort of respectful affection for a fallen monument -Inge, M. Thomas, and William Faulkner. William Faulkner: A Rose for Emily. Merrill, 1970. So the relationship between Emily and Homer Barron was a doomed love from the beginning. As they spent time together, they were gossiped about. And as Homer’s true feelings were known to everyone, him being a gay man, Emily eventually killed him with arsenic. He was found at the end of the story, a complete skeleton laying in a bed with a spot worn down next to him. The two were incompatible, the Old South and Reconstruction would never be as smooth as we hoped.

However, after the death of Homer Barron, no one knew where he was. But, in fact, he was decomposing inside of her house, explaining the smell. This was around the time that her health began to deteriorate. People stopped visiting her, her house lost its shine and seemed to decay, and she became obese. These are all symbolisms to the changing of traditions and modernizing of the South as time passed, leaving tradition behind to decay and rot. It explains how the only thing people really felt for her was an obligated respect. No one knew her personally because no one had held on to the pride of the Old South as much as she did. So she passed away to join her kin, taking the last of tradition with her.

Lastly, there is rich symbolism in the relationship between Emily and her father. When her father died, it got about that the house was all that was left for her; and in a way, people were glad. At last they could pity Miss Emily. -Inge, M. Thomas, and William Faulkner. William Faulkner: A Rose for Emily. Merrill, 1970. The explanations used for Miss Emily’s father are simple, he is insane. The only appearance he has in the story is of him in a picture, a spraddled silhouette, clutching a horsewhip. It is easy to assume, considering his disposition and his reputation, what he symbolizes. Since Miss Emily is decidedly the pride of the South, her father must be the insanity that created that pride. The type of person who could commit atrocities such as slavery, and everything that implies, would have to be insane. Once he died, all that was left for Emily was the house she lived in. This symbolizes the destruction of the southern slaveholders after the Civil War. Since the plantations were primarily supported by the slaves that inhabited them, the sudden loss in free labor made the once profitable business less than bountiful.

Her relationship with these characters shows important areas of US history. Her and Homer Barron’s attempt at love represent the South’s unwillingness to fit into the Northern agenda and the incompatibility that shows to their very core. Emily and her father’s eerie relationship that seems to answer how Emily was able to hold onto her beliefs as tightly as she did. All of this ending as her health slowly began to rot and her body decay, becoming as gross as the beliefs her father held.

Figurative Language in A Rose for Emily

The rose dedicated to Emily tells the story of a child in the southern aristocratic family. Emily is a child of a southern aristocratic family. Under the overprotection of her father, Emily became a lonely and weird woman.

After the death of her father, Emily met Homer. She paid all the love for Homer, but Homer had the thought of leaving. So Emily killed him and put him on the bed in the bedroom for more than ten years. This secret was discovered only after Emily left. This story is a metaphor for the failure and decline of the Southern tradition.

There are many metaphors in this story. For example, Emily’s father, the Southern society in the United States was a patriarchal society, and women were excluded from a dark corner. They were just a shadow that could not exist independently. Emily’s father is a typical representative of this patriarchal society. He was overbearing, and he used a whip to drive away all of Emily’s pursuers, making Emily miss her best age. At that time, Emily had no independent status and no free will. “The portrait of her father’s charcoal is hanging on the morgue, and her face is musing.” The father seems to be the shadow that Emily can’t get rid of. It is as if in the American Southern society at the time, all women were assimilated into the shadow of men. The black slave Toby in the text is actually a symbol of the slavery in the South. Although the author did not use too much ink to describe him, he was the last person to accompany Emily, and waited until Emily died. It shows that the old culture of the South has passed and slavery no longer exists. So Toby also left people’s sight. The last sentence in the article describes his sentence as “He walked through the house and walked out of the back door, and he never disappeared.” At the end of the novel, “the ruined rose curtains, the rose shades, the dresser” suggests that Miss Emily is like a long-lost rose, inserted in a dusty vase. Together with that gorgeous and morbid era, it will always be fixed on that day.

The Symbol of the Rose in William Faulkner’s A Rose for Emily

A Rose for Emily was written by William Faulkner and is characterized as a Southern Gothic short story. The story takes place in Faulkner’s fiction city of Jefferson, Mississippi and we can assume that the plot spans from some time in the 1890’s to the 1931 when A Rose for Emily for actually written. The story revolves around the town; specifically, Emily Grierson’s house is a main view point and symbol of the story.

The townspeople act as the narrators of the story, their rumors and ridicule of Emily and her ways as well as their sympathy for her as time progresses, helps to tell excel the plot. Also, Faulkner’s structure of the story is very telling of some traits of Emily. The story has many examples of symbolism as well, including the main character herself. A Rose for Emily also coveys themes of old Southern aristocracy versus the changing North. A Rose for Emily on the surface is a story of an obviously disturbed woman who murders a man rather than marrying him and manages to keep it hidden for decades. Although, it is also a compelling Southern Gothic short story that relays a message of southern insusceptibility to change with the progression of times and unfelt love through symbolism, theme, and structure.

The main character, Emily, is a southern lady who has lived in this great big house that is a reminder of old-South aristocracy. Emily, as well as the house, coveys the message that the old aristocratic South refuses to change. As the story progresses both Emily and her house become paradigms of decay. In this way, the house and Emily are both symbols of a time long passed. Her father is the only person she has been able to learn from, because of this she seems stuck in time. After Emily’s father passes away, the house is left to her. This is her only possession and she has no husband and no one to love and hold on to. Emily’s inability to change has left her and her house as an eyesore to the rest of the neighborhood that has been upgraded to better suit the times. The houses placement in the middle of such a different era is just as out of place as the values of the time the house represents and Miss Emily adheres to. Further making an example of the theme of tradition against change, Mayor Colonel Sartoris gave Emily a pardon on property taxes and had the rest of the town pay it on the premise that her father had loaned a great deal of money to the town. This was when Emily’s father died. Mayor Sartoris is credited in the story as the man who fathered the edict that no Negro woman should appear on the streets without an apron (168). During this time, in 1894, this was socially acceptable and only fed the idea that Emily was to be held a little too high for what they really were (170-71). As time progresses, Emily still refuses to pay taxes to the town even though Colonel Sartoris dies and a few new Mayors are reinstated. Another symbol in A Rose for Emily is Homer Barron. Homer is a Yankee and it is rumored that he is gay. He is a direct representation of the very differing North. His values are vastly different to Emily’s and the townspeople even say that she would never go for someone like him.

Perhaps the most notable symbol in A Rose for Emily is the title. There is no actual materialization of a rose in the story, which is very important. A rose typically represents love and compassion and men give women roses to show these emotions. This never materializes in the story because Emily is never shown genuine love, compassion, and affection from a lover. And arguably she is never shown love from her father, he runs away any type of suitor Emily may have had which skews any idea of love she could of thought of. So when she starts seeing Homer she clings to him since she has nothing left to cling to. In Hairoglyphics in Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily”/Reading the Primal Trace, it is also inferred that there may have been some sort of incest type relationship between Emily and her father, which would further explain why Emily is psychologically scarred. A first reading suggests that Miss Emily and Homer achieve an ecstatic perfection that she wants to preserve as a single moment for all timeEmily poisons Homer after the sexual embrace in order to enclose the experience in her memoryas fantasy repetition. This would make sense why she would want to keep Homer to herself as the townspeople forcibly took her father to bury him. However, Homer was gay. This would mean that Emily’s rage toward his inability to be sexual with her would cause her to poison him so then she could have relations with Homer’s dead body (129).

Symbolism in A Rose for Emily

Did you ever really understood the power of prejudices and gossip in someone’s life? The short story A Rose For Emily by William Faulkner, reflects the reality of the life of a southern aristocratic woman, Emily Grierson, who is looked upon as a figure of tradition in an old-fashioned changing society that has her as a subject of criticism and gossip throughout all her life. The story transpires a series of interconnected events including death, the decay of the south, isolation and a search for love that can be shown through literally devices and a Marxist lens to reflect that there are running themes throughout the story. Death of freedom Form of control Death of south after civil after Isolation death of Faulkner utilizes foreshadowing to foretell events that will appear later in the story like the theme of death.

The initial use of foreshadowing happens as the beginning of the story introduces the death of Emily Grierson, an event that also is mentioned at the end of the story. The protagonist of a story doesn’t usually die at the beginning of the reading, but the author uses this technique to directly make the readers understand the importance of death as it is considered a major theme in the story and almost to prepare them for the multiple deaths later in time. Being death a central theme, it is further symbolized as the powdery dust that coats Miss Emily’s house.

For instance, when the men went to Emily’s house to attempt to collect her taxes, … the Negro opened the blinds of one window, they could see that the leather was cracked; and when they sat down, a faint dust rose sluggishly about their thighs, spinning with slow motes in the single sun-ray (Faulkner, 55). Everything around her had dust, it symbolizes death, as it is unmaintained, old, falling apart, reflecting that its useful time is almost done. However, dust is not the only symbol of death in the story. Emily brings a skull and bones into her home when she buys the poison to kill Homer, her lover. This sign on the bottle of arsenic is a bit ironic. The author uses a technique of irony because it is clear to see that Homer will literally be nothing but bones and a skull when the story finishes. The story unfolds in a decaying old Southern house symbolizing a significant theme of the decay of the South which can be related to the major them of death throughout the whole story. The house hasn’t been maintained or preserved. It is in fact, decaying and deteriorating. Emily’s house has once been white, decorated with cupolas and spires and scrolled balconies in the heavily lightsome style of the seventies, set on what had once been our most select street. But garages and cotton gins had encroached and obliterated even the august names of that neighborhood; only Miss Emily’s house was left (Faulkner, 54). (isolation) This house represents a memory from the South considering the new generations are modernizing the town and the old south is becoming the New South. The house is described as being built shortly after the Civil War but has become an eyesore among eyesores (Faulkner, 54).

Another symbol of the decay of the Old South is Emily herself. Alive, Miss Emily had been a tradition, a duty, and a care; a sort of hereditary obligation upon the town (Faulkner, 55). She is a monument representing the past for the townspeople, but as time goes by, the town has new generations, and the perspective of Emily in the eyes of the townspeople also decays. People in the town then …believed that the Griersons held themselves a little too high for what they really were(Faulkner, 57) Emily experiences an unhappy and tragic life far apart from everyone, which brings the theme of isolation in the story. Her father didn’t allow her to have a love life. Her father took her away from everyone who courted her None of the young men were quite good enough for Miss Emily and such(Faulkner, 57). So when her father died, she was left alone and depressed to the point she was in denial of his death. After her father’s death she went out very little; after her sweetheart went away, people hardly saw her at all (Faulkner, 56). Her house also symbolizes isolation. Emily’s house was where she hid. It represented the past and the place where she was away from the people. She didn’t want to belong in any way, even with the mail services. Miss Emily alone refused to let them fasten the metal numbers above her door and attach a mailbox to it. She would not listen to them (IV). She sent Tobe, her negro slave, to do any errands The Negro man went in and out with the market basket, but the front door remained closed (Faulkner, 59).

As Emily searches for love in Homer and he doesn’t marry her, she kills him. Homer’s skeleton is a symbol of Emily wanting to hold on to the love she had for Homer. Knowing that Homer didn’t want to marry her, she killed him to keep him with her, even dead. He was found at Emily’s house coated with dust by the townspeople after she passed away. In a secret room, they discovered that Emily killed him with rat poison and kept his body. ”What was left of him, rotted beneath what was left of the nightshirt, had become inextricable from the bed in which he lay; and upon him and upon the pillow beside him lay that even coating of the patient and biding dust” (Faulkner, 61). This cruel act symbolizes the intense desire she had to have love, regardless of the horrific way she chooses to keep him close to her. She was searching for love and wanted to keep it one way or another. This brings back the feeling of being alone just like when her father died. Social class and isolation were the cause and effect built in the life of Emily Grierson. The Marxist perspective enables one to understand the social conflict in the story. William Faulkner makes a clear division in the social structure between Emily and the rest of the citizens in the town of Jefferson. Miss Emily held the image of a noble lady whose family roots and fame warranted great honor; therefore it is said that she had been a tradition, a duty, and a care; a sort of hereditary obligation upon the town (Faulkner, 55).

This social difference placed on her and the town’s conflicted obsession with Miss Emily was the major causes why she withdraws herself from the community. She is considered an aristocrat woman in society and is treated like one. The Marxist theory presents proof that social class influences people’s interactions and assumptions about others. For instance, when Emily was in denial of her father’s death, she kept her father’s body inside her house. If any other person, not in such upper-social class as Emily, keeps a dead human in their house will be considered to be insane. When the people found out that Emily kept his dead father’s skeleton, they said, We did not say she was crazy then. We believed she had to do that (Faulkner, 57). This reaction from the townspeople after the incident shows the different attitude they had towards Emily’s abnormal act. “…It was another link between the gross, teeming world and the high and mighty Griersons” People considered the Grierson family superior and justified every action they had, whether it was right or wrong. Emily’s father even though no men were good enough for his daughter due to this rigid social structure expressed by the Marxists perspective. None of the young men were quite good enough for Miss Emily and such (Faulkner, 57). The conflict arises as Emily is prevented a romantic relationship.