Rose For Emily Term Paper

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Rotten but Not Forgotten: Cherished Corpses in William Faulkner's Short Story "A Rose for Emily" A streak of insanity seems to run through the once-distinguished Grierson family of William Faulkner's mythical town of Jefferson, Mississippi, within his short story "A Rose for Emily." Near the beginning of the story, a surviving, never married Grierson daughter, Emily, is shown demonstrating her extreme reluctance, even three days after her overbearing father's death, to allow his body to be removed by authorities from the house:

The day after his death . . . Miss Emily met them at the door . . . She told them that her father was not dead. She did that for three days, with the ministers calling on her, and the doctors, trying to persuade her to let them dispose of the body. Just as they were about to resort to law and force, she broke down, and they buried her father quickly.

We did not say she was crazy then. . . .We knew that with nothing left, she would have to cling to that which had robbed her . . . (p. 32)

Later, Emily poisons her one-time Yankee suitor Homer Barron, whom the town had conjectured would marry her. After that, as readers learn only at the end, Emily keeps Homer's corpse locked away, decomposing, inside her own bedroom. Emily's reluctance to part with first her father's dead body, and then that of Homer Barron, springs from an understandable...

...

The reclusive spinster daughter of the family, Emily, having just lost her father, is Jefferson's only surviving Grierson. When he was alive, Emily's father had refused to let Emily date young men. Having never married, then, Emily is now completely alone.
Within the town of Jefferson itself, modernization is taking place all around Emily, even as Emily herself remains locked, year after year, inside her impenetrable home. The town itself is, however, quite literally reinventing itself, thus rendering the Grierson mansion, and the town's memory of its current and past occupants, anachronistic.

One day a Yankee named Homer Barron arrives to supervise all the construction going on around the Grierson mansion. Homer knocks on Emily's door, and soon they are seen going out together.

But Homer departs from Jefferson at about the time relatives from Alabama come to visit Emily. After that, people in Jefferson do see Homer return to the town and enter Emily's house, but after that Homer is never again seen. His whereabouts becomes a town mystery, as Emily herself has also become, over the years. The only…

Sources Used in Documents:

Work Cited

Faulkner, William. "A Rose for Emily." Literature: An Introduction to Fiction,

Poetry, and Drama. Ed. X.J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. 4th Compact Ed.

New York, Longman, 2005. 29-36.


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