Character Analysis in A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner

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A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner is located in Jefferson, a small Southern town during the post- Civil War era. The story revolves around the eccentric and catastrophic events of Miss Emily Grierson’s life. At a first look, Miss Emily seems like a lonely woman with little self-confidence and low self-esteem, which is due from her father’s upbringing. There had to be some kind of neglect by her father because he made her lived such a sheltered life. He made her think that nobody was good enough for her and he even turned her away from his own family. From beginning to end, Emily turned into quite an odd character due to this type of sheltered life. In section one, the narrator of A Rose for Emily, is the voice of the town rather than a specific person. The story embarks on a journey unfolding when Miss Emily Grierson dies, and how the whole town joins together to go her funeral. The women of the town go mostly out of inquisitiveness to see the inside of her house, which they say is, "a big, squarish frame house that had once been white, decorated with cupolas and spires and scrolled balconies in the heavily lightsome style of the seventies, set on what had once been our most select street"(409). Then we receive an explanation of why Miss Emily had been a "hereditary obligation upon the town"(409). In 1894, the mayor, Colonel Sartoris, made up a story about how her father lent the town money, so her taxes were already paid for when her father died. When the next generation took over the office, the Board of Alderman held a conference meeting to decide how to collect taxes from Miss Emily, who was still living in belief of not having to pay them. The board of aldermen went to her house and remained in the dusty parlor until Miss ... ... middle of paper ... ...accept it. She tried to stop time in her own warped ways, and even more astoundingly, the townspeople let her. To them, she was a symbol of the old South. She was her father's daughter, and they were more than satisfied to let her do things in her own way. They liked her as a symbol of the Old South so that they could adhere to the idealistic past as well. But we the readers and the townspeople find out, time stops for no person. It can never stop and no matter how hard you try to entrap it, it will find a way out eventually. Emily's way out was death. She leaves behind the townspeople who protected her to figure out how they will move into this new world of industry and development. Works Cited Faulkner, William. "A Rose for Emily." The Story and Its Writer: An Introductory to Short Fiction. Eighth ed. Bedford / St. Martin's: Ann Charters, 2011. 409-15. Print.
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