A Rose for Emily Essay


Emily Grierson, the talk of the neighborhood and the town kept the people curious about her next move. No one ever seemed to get along with her or even understand her since she kept it all to herself. This situation changes with the arrival of Homer, a charming foreman who could get along with any living soul including Emily, much to the dismay of the whole neighborhood. William Faulkner puts pen on paper to tell a story that leaves the reader in suspense and with more questions than answers.


How and why Emily refuses to move forward

The first thing that strikes a person about this woman is her traits. She uses her stern personality, almost viewed as unbalanced to whisk people away whenever they come to her house. The sheriff, the mayor and even the mail officials underwent this torture. Furthermore, she used the tactic on the pharmacist to buy poison without explaining the intended use as the law required (Faulkner and Polk, 5).

She was more of an insider person, one who did not value being around people. She kept herself indoors and let her Negro worker do all the jobs including shopping. She only occasionally left for church in the company of Homer. This can find explanation in the treatment her father gave her. She, very seldom, interacted with other people. When her marriage age knocked on her doors, the father seemingly threw away every potential husband and instead confined her life even more.

Emily could not accept charity even though she needed it (Faulkner and Polk, 7). The author elaborates the fact that Emily’s house needed cleaning yet she refused the help of the neighborhood and the leaders of the town tried to convince her. Furthermore, she resisted their condolences when they came to comfort her after the death of her father. The first reaction might have probably resulted from her secretive nature. Her refusal to let her father go coupled by stern look at the people who came for the body might have resulted from her desire to retain the dead body as a way of paying back to the man that ruined her as the author suggests.

Later she completely shut herself from public life, probably after killing Homer. The author describes that they could only make her out from the window of her house. Evidently, their attempts to socialize their confederate neighbor had terribly failed. This behavior can find explanation in the discovery of dead Homer in the upper room. The nature of the room reveals that she did not kill him accidentally. Furthermore, the fact that he laid in a well-made bed and a generally well-furnished room indicated that the dead body must have had special place in the heart of the woman. The author describes the room as “decked and furnished as for a bridal” (Robinette and Faulkner, 12).


The town found Emily Grierson repulsive and uneasy to befriend. The major contribution was her introversive personality, a trait that kept her engulfed in her own business. Furthermore, Emily might have found it hard to integrate into the reformed society of the northerners because of her age. The main reason for her seclusion from public life in her later life rests in the discovery of dead Homer in the upper room seemingly because she wanted to keep it a secret. This book is a masterpiece, giving an age long story in a flash. Furthermore, it gives both historical and present life perspective on the lives of people. It also speaks volumes on the need for socialization. A more careful neighborhood would have discovered secrets of Emily long before her death.

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