Rose For Emily


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A Rose for Emily By: none (William Faulkner) In times of distress, trauma and uncertainly, many people find a comfort in familiar surroundings, where they can close out the world and relax. This was certainly Emily’s way of handling her trauma. All her life Emily tried to escape from change. Even the posting of the new mailbox was unacceptable for her. She acted as though nothing around her had changed her entire life. Even though death and loss affected her, she seemed to try to avoid thinking about it. Emily is unable to balance her traditions in modern times. But, the roots of her tragedy lay in the fact, that neither can the people who surround her in the town. In the story, Faulkner presents us with a sad tale of a lonely woman, who is only met with disappointment and grief in her search for love. Emily was a lonely woman. Miss Emily came from a powerful family. She had experienced a controlling love from her father. That love only demanded that she abide by his rules and his expectation of her in his lifetime. Her suitors were all sent away by her father. After failing to marry, she lost the only person who was her family, her father. After her father died, she met Homer Barron, a Yankee, who was in the construction business in the town. Finally she had someone to love. They dated and possibly were happy with each other, but the traditions, customs and prejudices of the South doomed this affair to end. She could not allow this. Emily could not have lived with Homer, but she could not loose him, her only love. So she poisoned him with arsenic. She needed someone to love her eternally, and someone to love. She did not have any family members to love and nurture, to turn to for love or support. The few family members she had thought she was crazy, but actually they were even more proud of their position in the society. They prohibited her relationship with Homer. They pushed her to do what she did. The town, the family, all the people were against her love. She could not have Homer alive. This is why she killed him. This way he was hers, only hers, forever: “Then we noticed that in the second pillow was an indentation of a head.

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. . . we saw a long strand of iron-gray hair.” In this story, you can't help but to feel sadness for the characters. Emily was born into “position,” which her family, particularly her father placed upon her. Her “position” was that of a Southern prominent family. It demanded that she marry well according to the Southern culture. Emily’s “position” set her apart from the townspeople. In her mind, and in mind of the people in town, it became Emily’s inherited duty to meet the obligations of that “position.” Alone and lonely, with the stigma of her fallen position, Emily chose seclusion rather than to face the embarrassment she endured. The only connection she had with the townspeople was her noblesse oblige. Emily was caught up in that culture. Had Emily been a stronger person, she might have broken from the mold and lived out her own will, marring her love and being happy. But she was not that strong. She succumbed to the insanity that had crept upon her during the course of her life. The only roses Emily ever received during her sad and lonely life were those that were placed on her grave.



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