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A Rose For Emily

In my opinion, William Faulkner displays a perfect example of the old saying, what goes around comes around in the short story A Rose For Emily. The main character, Miss Emily Grierson, doesnt know why the public eye looks at her the way it does, she also doesnt know why people act so differently around her. I believe it is strongly because of her father and the way he treated her while she was growing up.

The story only spoke briefly about the father, but what they did say made him out to be somewhat controlling person. The story mentioned that there was a picture in the house that showed Miss Emily and her father standing in the doorway. Miss Emily was placed in the background and her father was in the front with a whip. To me, that seems very intimidating and controlling. In some situations people use a whip to control or tame a situation or even person.

Another instance that seemed to be controlling on the part of the father was that no one was ever good enough for his daughter, Miss Emily. Mr. Grierson was always running off the young men that would come around the house to see Miss Emily. Miss Emilys father never even tried to see if any of the young men were of any interest to Miss Emily. The story also states that the Griersons thought that they were better than the other people in the town. The fact that Miss Emilys father was a controlling man was one of the main, but not only, motivations for the way that Miss Emily acted and reacted to the public.

Another characteristic of Miss Emily was that she was not a very sociable person with the community except for that six or seven years when she taught china painting. The reason that I feel Miss Emily acted in this way was again due to the controlling nature of her father and the fact that she was raised to think that she was better than the other people around her. With Miss Emilys father being in control of the things in her life she did not know how to react to or communicate with other people in a normal manner.

The next action that I would like to address that Miss Emily acted upon was to choose a man that no one agreed with. No one agreed with Homer Barron being the man that Miss Emily loved was because he was, a Yankee- a big, dark, ready man, with a big voice and eyes lighter than his face (32). The way the story describes Miss Emily, it sounds almost like her and Homer are just complete and total opposites and should never be associated with each other. Miss Emilys family didnt agree with her being with Homer because his social class was beneath that of the Grierson family. Miss Emily had to take into consideration all the thoughts of the people around her while she was with Homer. I guess because her father made most of her decisions for her, after he had died she didnt necessarily know how to pick the right guy that actually suited her and her needs.

Putting yourself in other peoples shoes and looking at things from their perspective can have a great impact on they way you perceive them as well. Miss Emilys father raised her to believe that she was better than most everyone else around her and thats how she acted when she was around other people. With some other things that helped contribute to why she felt the way she did including Homer, and the overall public eye that watched her like a hawk watched its prey. In my opinion her father had the most impact on the way she acted and what she believed.

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StudyBoss » 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 ay, 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. She said Arsenic. I want arsenic (220). All along, the druggist wanted to know what she wanted it for and she answered back I want the best you have.

I don’t care what kind (220). Needless to say, the druggist never got an answer. The druggist gave Emily poison out of fear and respect, possibly. Yes, Emily didn’t socialize much, but she did have a gentleman friend, Homer Barron. Homer was a Forman for a road construction company, Faulkner writes a forman named Homer Barron, a Yankee a big, dark, ready man, with a big voice and eyes lighter than his face(220). Emily’s father probably would not be pleased with this affair with Homer,considering her upbringing.

Homer was a ‘commoner’ and did not fit the social standards of her father. Of course, Emily, like most women dream of getting married and having a family and most of all, being loved. The gossip around town was spreading; the townspeople said when she got to be thirty and was still single, we were not pleased, but vindicated; … She wouldn’t have turned down all of her chances if they had materialized (221). Emily wanted to be loved, and she was determined that Homer would be her true love to rescue her from fear, fear of being alone.

Indeed Emily took a great liking to Homer, but Homer’s feelings about the relationship were different. It was rumored that even Homer himself had remarked–he liked men, and it was known that he drunk with younger men in the Elk’s clubthat he was not a marrying man (221). Homer left Emily and the town for three days, and then came back. While Homer was gone, Emily still was preparing for her wedding. She bought invitations and clothes for Homer. Emily grew fearful of Homer’s departure, fear of being left alone again.

Faulkner writes A neighbor saw the Negro man (Tobe) admit him at the kitchen door at dusk one evening. And that’s thelast we saw of Homer Barron (221). Once again, a fear of change, the fear of losing Homer and being left alone, she decided to poison him. Feeling that if she could not have him alive she thought she could keep him with her if he were dead and she did. Because of her seclusion, no one really knew just how bad it was. Not until her death did, the truth come out about Homer’s death.

The Rose for Emily, Faulkner talks about in the title of this fictitious tory could be found in the tomb like bedroom she created, which wasn’t found till Emily’s death. Upon the valance curtains of faded rose color, upon the rose-shaded light (223). These rose colored items gave the room an artificial rose like color. The clich as seen through rose colored glasses comes to mind. Homer dead, all those years, among the rose colored room. He was also cast with the rose color about the room. Everything in this room was Emily’s rose, locked away for keeping, so she would not be left alone.

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