Where Is The Rose When Emily Is Alive?
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When you see someone receives a rose, would you enviously say that the person is being loved? Yes, we normally would. But in William Faulkner’s short fiction “A Rose for Emily,” the person receives a rose only after her death—the main character “Emily” lost all that she loved one by one in her miserable life and is given a macabre ending that reveals her necrophilia. The title of the story is not derived from any incident or image in this horror story; instead, it does no more than showing an expression of affection and sympathy for Emily’s misery after she dies. Faulkner sets up a puzzle by leaving blanks for “love” throughout Emily’s life. The word “love” is nowhere mentioned except being symbolized in the title and appears only once by the end of the story when the murder is discovered. Its this unique way by which Faulkner successfully emphasizes the theme by eliminating it entirely from the readers. One’s life will be miserable without love; one can never overcome the wounds from unpreventable grief without love. The characters in the story include Emilys father, lover, and the town folks represented by the narrator; they are the elements that give impact to Emilys misery while they could have been the sources of love. Every character in this story acts as a link to the chain which leads to the miserable ending of Emily’s life.

Emilys father loved her with his whole heart as she’s the only daughter. Being controlled and over protected by her father, Emily develops an isolative inner world of her own. A mother character for Emily is never included which could be considered a negative impact to Emily’s personality and a sufficient reason for her to be emotionally dependent on her father. When her father died, Emily refuses to let go the only beloved person in her life, she “dressed as usual and with no trace of grief on her face. She told them that her father was not dead. She did that for three days.” Although her being compulsively possessive is clearly a case of abnormal psychology, her strange act has been easily overlooked by the town folks: “With nothing left, she would have to cling to that which had robbed her, as people will” (Faulkner). The town folks observe her life as if criticize a show in which she is not a normal person and anything happens to her is meant to be accepted.

After her father passed away Emily really has nothing left. Over protected by her father, Emily has no chance to feel love from men of her age. “We remembered all the young men her father had driven away.” On the other hand, “People in our town believed that the Griersons held themselves a little too high for what they really were” (Faulkner). Its certain that Emily’s being proud and self-centered drives people away. She did not even have any girl friends around. Her social life has been left blank since her youth. As Hans Skei points out in his book Reading Faulkners Best Short Stories, “Emily belongs to a generation whose beliefs and codes of conduct she lives by” (162). Living in an old and once fashionable house “on what had been our most select street” in the town, “Emily is brought up to believe in the dominant attitudes about chivalry, protection of ladies, and вЂ?aristocratic’ codes of behavior. Her father leaves no doubt about her lace in relation to him, nor about the obedience he expects from her, and he also seems to have induced in her a feeling of responsibility to her position and status” (Faulkner, Skei 162). Her father makes her believe that she’s better than other people. Her sense of exclusiveness allows her to explain and justify all her strange acts. Emily is so used to being different. “She simply acts out her alleged position, and her sexual and social roles make it easy for her to find defense mechanisms to explain and justify her deeds” (Skei 162).

“After her fathers death she went out very little.” Although Emily had experienced a great grief and “She was sick for a long time,” she has not yet lost her hope in life. Her fathers death was only part of her significant loss. It wasn’t until “her sweetheart went away, people hardly saw her at all.” Here comes Emilys second loss—her only lover. Soon after she stepped out of the grief of her father’s death, Emily met her first love. That was for the first time, without her father’s control, she was able to make a choice for herself. The choice was made partially because “None of the young men were quite good enough for Miss Emily” until she met Homer Barron who comes from out of town. She immediately fell in love with this man who belongs to a lower class even when the town folks think that “even grief could not cause a real lady to forget noblesse oblige” (Faulkner). Emily is proud enough to not listen to anyone. She holds a strong value of her own and believes that he is meant to take her father’s place in her life. She puts such a high expectation upon this young “Yankee” due to her keen for love and affection. That is why when this flash relationship is called off by her lover, Emily completely collapsed. Although we don’t know exactly the reason for Emily to kill the man, whether there is hate or not, the result is obvious: Emily managed to keep Homer Barron to herself this time. She did not let anybody take away the one she loves,

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Emilys Father And Town Folks. (April 17, 2021). Retrieved from https://www.freeessays.education/emilys-father-and-town-folks-essay/