Rose For Emily Term Paper


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.

Cite this Document:

"Rose For Emily" (2005, June 27) Retrieved April 23, 2024, from

"Rose For Emily" 27 June 2005. Web.23 April. 2024. <>

"Rose For Emily", 27 June 2005, Accessed.23 April. 2024,

Related Documents

shaped character Miss Emily "A Rose Emily." What forces work creates a character Miss Emily? Something made Emily character meet story. • Locate (2) scholarly resources include a minimum quotes (2) source. "A Rose for Emily:" A false, fragile, and wilting image of perfect southern womanhood William Faulkner's short story "A Rose for Emily" chronicles the life of an aristocratic southern woman who is unable to accept the realities of the changing

Rose for Emily Emily as a Symbol of the South in Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily" William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily" is a complex short story that investigates the conflicted nature of the post-War South. Emily Grierson represents the Old World aristocracy, refined in its manners and in its dignity. She represents the glory of the South. And yet the South is fallen; defeated by the Union, it has lost is

Rose for Emily by William

Point-of-view is extremely important in any story, as who is telling the story can greatly affect what gets told. If Faulkner had chosen Emily or her servant as the narrator, the story would have been very different, and readers would have known what was going on in Emily's house much sooner, but since Faulkner chose a townsperson, the secrets of Emily's disturbed mind remained hidden until the final scene

Emily Dickinson's Poems

Emily Dickinson and Ezra Pound Ezra Pound's poem "The River-Merchant's Wife: A Letter" is inspired by Chinese poetry, and dramatizes the situation of the Chinese wife of a traveling salesman. In its empathetic portrayal of the life of a woman, it resembles poems by Emily Dickinson -- but the difference is, of course, that Pound's form is fundamentally dramatic. Pound announces, in his title, the speaker of the poem. Dickinson's lyric

Rose for Emily Nothing Is

This is why Homer is killed: he has lied to Emily and to the townspeople, and his deceit is punishable by death (at least, so it seems to Emily -- if Blythe is correct in his analysis). This is why the tension that exists between Emily and the community comes to the forefront in the first place: "Every human lives in a social environment and is influenced by surrounding

Rose for Emily in William

Though my loneliness certainly isn't as extreme as Emily's, and I do not think I would want to sleep next to a corpse for years instead of finding people to interact with in the outside world, the sense of being cut off from those around you and kept in a separate bubble is something I can relate to. There are times when I have exactly this feeling as a