Respect in A Rose for Emily

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Respect in A Rose for Emily

Miss Emily Grierson is nobody's best friend. Neither is she the enemy of any man

or woman. Life has dealt her circumstances that anyone would falter underneath. Her

personality suffers traumatically, but no one can hold that against her. Though not a very

pleasant character, Miss Emily does have the support of the townspeople in the text of

Faulkner's short story "A Rose for Emily." However, in the video version these same

townspeople are portrayed as snoops and critics with no kind intentions seen.

Miss Emily was not a social person after her father died, but the townspeople

understood this. The townspeople understood "that with nothing left, she would have to

cling to that which had robbed her as people will"(31). They did not hold it against her

that she had trouble handling this situation. Emily is given the "respectful affection [of] a

fallen monument"(28). Each tried in his/her own way to reach out to her. The authorities

came to her house, the minister dropped by, and "a few of the ladies had the temerity to

call"(30). Miss Emily continued on with life even going so far as to give "china-painting"

lessons. The women of the town quite willingly send their daughters and granddaughters

to learn from her.

At one point in the story, a strong stench coming from Emily's house prompts a

few disrespectful comments. Yet in spite of this, the text records that the "people began

to feel sorry for her"(30). They are not brutes; inside themselves the townspeople have

sympathy for this lady. The townspeople seemed curious about the happenings within her

house, but they are not outright mean or obtrusive. After Homer Barron comes into the

picture, the town is "glad that Miss Emily would have an interest"(31). Even in the final

moments of her life the "whole town went to [Emily's] funeral"(28). They also have the

decency to "wait until Miss Emily was in the ground before they opened [the region

above the stairs no one had seen in forty years]"(34). The text of this story portrays these
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