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The Significance of the Townspeople and Emily's Father in A Rose for Emily

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A necrophiliac is described as a person who has an obsessive fascination with death and corpses (Mifflin 1). Emily, a necrophiliac in the story, “A Rose for Emily,” is a deranged, lost, and confused woman. A story filled with many symbols that help the stories meaning. The only man Emily knew growing up was her father. He taught her to trust no man, and no man would ever be good for her. He was highly favored through the town and everyone looked to him. The small town of curious and nosey people makes the story of “A Rose for Emily.” The town’s people are curious to know Emily’s every step, or wondering what she is going to do next, her appearance, and where the horrible smell in her house comes from. She meets a man in this small town and they become lovers. She then kills him with rat poisoning and sleeps with him every night until finally her time is up and everybody in her town finds out the real truth.
Through out the whole story of “A Rose for Emily” no one ever knows who the people are in her town and we never find out there age, size, color, and whether or not they personally know Emily or not. They are just townspeople, townspeople who gossip. We only know what the people are saying about her and how judgmental they are being through out the whole story. According to Faulkner, in his Short Story Criticism he says,
“Miss Emily constantly for fifty or sixty years; they are anonymous townspeople, for neither names nor sexes nor occupations are given or hinted at; and they seem to be naïve watchers, for they speak as though they did not understand the meaning of events at the time they occurred. Further, they are of undetermined age. By details given the story there neither older nor younger nor of the same age as Miss Em...


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...again, her hair was cut short, making her look like a girl, with a vague resemblance to those angels in colored church windows- sort of tragic and serene” (Faulkner 31).
Emily father was highly favored in the town. Faulkner writes in his Short Story Criticism, “The Griersons have always been “high and mighty,” somehow above “the gross, teeming world….” Emily’s father was well respected and occasionally loaned the town money. That made her a wealthy child and she basically had everything a child wanted. Emily’s father was a very serious man and Emily’s mind was violated by her father’s strict mentality. After Emily’s father being the only man in her life, he dies and she find it hard to let go of him. Because of her father, she possessed a stubborn outlook on life and how thing should be. She practically secluded her self from society for the remainder of her life.


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