Rose for Emily William Faulkner Essay

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Along with her psychological behavior, her social behavior was also completely absurd and she proved this when she poisoned Mr. Homer Barron, a Yankee with whom she started dating after Mr. Giererson's death. Faulkner has emphasized on racism and addressed Homer as "a big, dark, ready man with a big voice and eyes lighter than his face," in other words he was a nigger. Emily was aware of the fact that Homer Barron who didn't meet up the measure of her father's expectations and society could feel bad about it but still Homer was her obsession and she couldn't think of letting her love go for any reason. People were surprised to see a man in her life and considered a disgrace for town as she was openly dating with him. They were curious about the deal Emily would make with him, either she would marry him or he would leave Emily and soon Emily realized that Homer would not marry her. Instead of going for a wise decision that any women would have gone about letting him go or convince him to marry her, she touched the height of insanity by poisoning Mr. Homer and keeping his dead body in her bedroom. It wasn't enough for her desires and she slept with a corpse the rest of her life. It was horrifying for people to know that she bore the deadly smell and slept with his body just to satisfy her obsession of love that remained constant (Abby).

"Coating of patient and binding dust"(Faulkner). "Among them lay a collar and tie, as if they had just been removed, which, lifted, left upon the surface, a pale crescent in the dust"(Faulkner) these statements tells that Emily was not only hesitant in socializing but was reluctant in keeping her place clean. She was so scared of change that she avoided cleaning her place and stayed there in dust and dank smell. One can quickly perceive the severity of Emily's possessiveness about her love, Mr. Homer and his things.


Emily in Faulkner's story was no less than a social stigma (Ruthman). The story is written as a narration and 'we' as readers can only conceive according to what townspeople fabricated about her. In the whole story, there was no comment about townspeople by Emily. It is not impossible that all her acts like stubbornness, seclusion or rigidness were in reaction to what townspeople had treated her like. There are two possibilities for her foolish behavior, either she was medically ill in some sort of psychological or behavioral disorder or she was scandalized or suppressed by the townspeople as she was a burden or hereditary obligation on them after her father's death (Abby). Here lies a possibility that none among the townspeople had given her enough support or love to bring her back to normal after her father's demise which made her split into a different weird personality.

It is doubtless that Emily, a protagonist was the most static character of this story but the true essence and thrill lies within Emily and her mysterious moves, though the story is a little distanced from naturalism and does not completely convince a person that how an alive person could sleep with a dead body for around thirty to forty years. On the other hand, it is quite suspicious that Tobe was her only man servant and did not even show a sign of resentment on her moves or he could have left the job the way he escaped on her death. Each character is finely adjusted and together it came as a real time hit by William Faulkner, who wrote a masterpiece of his time and mysterious suspense is a great add on. In short, Faulkner beautifully did his work of bringing awareness through his pen. He jotted down different issues which compelled his readers to think how human behavior could impact to mend or ruin a complete personality. Thus the theme of the story is about the process of life, decay and death.


Morton, Clay. "A Rose for Emily': Oral Plot, Typographic Story," Storytelling: A Critical Journal of Popular Narrative 5.1. 2005.

Ruthman, Davina, "A Chronology of William Faulkner's a Rose for Emily," GRIN Verlag, 2007,

Werlock, H.P.Abby, "The Facts on File Companion to the American Short Story," Second Edition, New York,…

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