Personal Decolation In William Faulkner's A Rose For Emily

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Community and culture play a large part in how a person presents them self, and how they are perceived by others. Perception is a very subjective process, and personal biases influence each person’s observations. In the short story “A Rose for Emily,” William Faulkner portrays the story of an isolated and emotionally stunted woman’s desperate attempt to not be alone as told through the eyes of the townspeople. First, Emily is isolated by her father then, after his death, by the townspeople who view her as a monument to tradition and not as a person. In Emily’s desolation, she poisons her lover, and proceeds to hide his body, in her home, for forty years. Many critics have argued Emily’s motivations for Homer’s murder. Hal Blythe reasons that her motivations were to save face within the community while retaining control over their…show more content…
Emily’s isolation from the townspeople, throughout her life, would have had many negative effects on her psychological development. Her father had an inflated sense of pride; he perceived an exalted power in the value of his family name. He uses this pride to drive away all of Emily’s suitors, leaving her a spinster at age thirty. When he perishes, the narrator feels pity for Miss Emily, even attempting to rationalize the three days she refused to give up his body for burial, and her insistence that he was not dead. “Emily became an emotional orphan in search of the father who had been taken from her” (Scherting 400). Her father was the only relationship available to Emily, and with his death; she has nothing and no one. This makes her intentions to murder and cling to Homer’s body, an act of control because by committing the act in secrecy, no one can destroy her illusions and take Homer away from her like they did her