A Rose for Emily, by William Faulkner

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Insanity in a Rose for Emily

William Faulkner was an American writer from Oxford, Mississippi, who was praised for his novels and short stories, many whom take place in Yoknapatawpha County, fictitious setting based on where he spent most of his childhood, Lafayette County. Faulkner, regarded as one of the most vital writers of the Southern literature of the United States, was somewhat unheard of until being given the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1949. He too received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for two other of his works. In 1931, he published his first short story, A Rose for Emily, in a national magazine.

The central plot of the story is very much about Emily’s stubborn attitude towards change. Before the Civil War, her father, who was from a wealthy and well known family, made a generous contribution to the Southern town, and as a gesture of gratitude, the mayor at that time sanctioned them from paying taxes. Even after her father’s death, she believed that this privilege was still granted. Overall, it was difficult for her to let go of the past and make way for the future, which was very common in the southern people of this time. Her unyielding behavior is also evident when she refuses to accept the death of her father, whom she was very attached to. He was very strict with his daughter, thus becoming the only man in her life, up until Homer Barron, who was Emily’s lover for quite some time. The town use to make up stories of their relationship, not really certain of what was, in truth, happening between them. In fact, they use to make up their own assumptions of Emily, making her out to have a spotless image, which was later conflicted when they finally got a bona fide view of her life. Nevertheless, later in...

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...proves that Emily was insane. It takes a mentally unhinged person to murder someone, but to actually keep the body for personal contentment is just excessively deranged.

In conclusion, Emily is presented as a very complex character that is exceedingly misunderstood by the people around her. She is unable to accept change in her life, causing her to live an isolated lifestyle that kept the townspeople intrigued by the little they knew of her, making them create their own naïve suppositions of who she was. Obviously, Emily had deep issues within herself that led her to act irrationally, but she kept it in the privacy of her own home. Clearly she understood that the things she did where not commonsensical, that there was something wrong with her, thus, she managed to keep all her monsters hidden in the closet, or in this case, the bedroom on the second floor.
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