A Rose for Emily

Satisfactory Essays
We learn many things through experience as we grow older, and these experience lessons make us who we are in life. In William Faulkner's short story, "A Rose for Emily," Emily Grierson was among the higher class of people in her community, and her family acted as if they were above the other classes. Her family demanded the respect and fear of many yet, "behind their hands" (Faulkner 78) the same many scrutinized and judged Emily. This crowd grew very conscious of Emily since she became a recluse. Emily's upbringing by her father, the death of her father, and the disappearance of her sweetheart were all of the factors that contributed to her seclusion. Initially, Emily was taught by her father to stay home and was not taught self-esteem, self-confidence, self-worth, or self-dependence by her father. Emily was restricted from courting by her father; her father would claim that none of the young men she was interested in were good enough for her or the family (Faulkner 77). Emily's father made her dependent on him by not allowing her to be confident in herself and "thwarting her woman's life" (Faulkner 79). For example, there is a picture in the minds of the townspeople that Emily is in the background, and her father is in the foreground holding a whip (Faulkner 77). This gives an image of her overly dominant father demanding and threatening her to stay behind. As you can see, Emily was taught to remain isolated. Then when Emily's father died, she became more detached than before. Since she had only her father to rely on, she did not want to admit that he was dead at first. Until it came down to the law and force, she did what was to be expected when she had nothing left: she "[clung] to that which had robbed her" (Faulkner 77). Once they took the body, Emily had to face the fact that she was truly alone. She then got a manservant to depend upon and support her. The manservant was seen "going in and out with a market basket" (Faulkner 76) but she hardly came out of the house herself. Her father's death left her to become more concealed. Finally, the disappearance of her sweetheart, Homer, was the final event that made Emily a hermit. Emily had her manservant to rely on, but he was not enough.
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