Shaped Character Miss Emily "A Rose Emily." Essay


¶ … 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 world around her. Two primary factors shape Emily's existence. The first is that of her father, Colonel Sartoris, who believes that no man can ever be good enough for his daughter. The Colonel is so rigid in his worldview, he chases all young men from his door, effectively condemning Emily to spinsterhood. The other shaping force is the mores of the town in which Emily lives. When Emily does not pay her taxes or when her yard smells, the town's leaders and residents seem unable to confront her, because they are as rigidly-bound by conventions of Southern womanhood as Emily.

The first image of Emily in the story is when she is confronted by the township for her nonpayment of taxes. "Colonel Sartoris invented an involved tale to the effect that Miss Emily's father had loaned money to the town, which the town, as a matter of business, preferred this way of repaying. Only a man of Colonel Sartoris' generation and thought could have invented it, and only a woman could have believed it" (Faulkner 2). There are two surprising and revelatory aspects of this anecdote. On one hand, it shows the utter credulity of Emily: although Colonel Sartoris' allegation a clear fiction, Emily actually believes it because she...


It might be assumed that the men of the town would confront her more directly, but they are so taken aback by her manner, and the fact that she is a woman and comes from a fine, old family, they cannot.
It is often said that the only certain things in the world are death and taxes, but Miss Emily tries to deny both. When her father died, she attempted to ignore his passing. "Miss Emily met them at the door, 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, 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" (Faulkner 4). It might have been expected that Emily would have been happy, to some degree, at the death of her father, given that he is portrayed as a free-spending man who left her a pauper, who would chase young men away from the door with a horsewhip, while Emily stood in the background "a slender figure in white," not a bride, but still a chaste virgin at thirty (Faulkner 4). However, Emily clearly believes in the idealized vision of Southern womanhood espoused by her father, or has invested so much emotional energy into this ideal she feels paralyzed when he dies and falls back into conventional niceties, greeting people at the door. The Colonel's near-incestuous feelings for his daughter: "becomes a symbol of the state of the South after the Civil War... Of a region turned in upon itself" (Zender 739).

Emily's refusal to accept reality is once again manifested when she takes up with Homer Barron. Over the course of the story,…

Sources Used in Documents:


Faulkner, William. "A Rose for Emily." E-text available:

Nebeker, Helen E. "Emily's Rose of Love: Thematic Implications of Point-of-View in Faulkner's 'A Rose for Emily.' The Bulletin of the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association,

24. 1(Mar., 1970): 3-13.

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