“A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner

Subject: Literature
Pages: 3
Words: 623
Reading time:
3 min
Study level: School


A Rose for Emily” By William Faulkner is one of the typical stories, reflecting the main character, Emily as soul of conflicts, disintegrated soul. The whole story revolves round one main character, Emily and one town, narrated by an unknown narrator. Emily lives a luxurious life in a poor southern state, obeying her overbearing father till her ultimate death.

Main body

The narrator of the story depicts Emily’s home and neighborhood in a graphical manner, showing the traditional life-style of Emily. The narrator narrates that her house is a big, squarish, furnished with cupolas, spires and scrolled balconies, all settings of home depicts the life-style of seventies. The violence of breaking down the door seemed to fill this room with pervading dust. A thin, acrid pall as of the tomb seemed to lie everywhere upon this room decked and furnished as for a bridal: upon the valance curtains of faded rose color, upon the rose-shaded lights, upon the dressing table, upon the delicate array of crystal and the man’s toilet things backed with tarnished silver, silver so tarnished that the monogram was obscured (Faulkner, 1929-30).

Her house is symbol of old and obliterated tradition as every thing at her house had been encroaching as the cotton wagons, gasoline pumps-an-eysore, the august names of neighborhood were on decay. With the passage of time, Emily too grows old, her hair become grey, showing her aged personality and obesity too (Faulkner, 1929-30).

The appearances of her home and her personality are extinguished, only death and decay is prevailing everywhere as the townpeople find Homer’s skeletal body on a luxurious bed in a locked room, Emily’s iron-gray hair lying on the pillow beside his head, a “slender figure in white,” typifies the vulnerable virgin, hovering in the background, subordinate and passive. The father, “a spraddled silhouette in the foreground, his back to her and clutching a horsewhip” (CS 123), is a menacing dark image assuming the dominant front position. His turned back suggests a disregard for her emotional welfare as he wards off potential danger — or violation of her maidenhead — with his horsewhip. The back-flung door invites suitors in, but only those who meet Grierson’s standards. Unfortunately, those standards are unattainable – (Janice et al, 2008).

Emily’s character displays manifold reactionary characteristics, mixed feelings of love, care and hatred for his domineering father, her restricted life-style, her loneliness and alienation from main social stream. Her father’s domineering attitude affects her personality by keeping her away from the rest of the world and there are indelible imprints of her father’s self-restraint behavior upon her living style (Janice et al, 2008).

Emily is characterized as psychic case, mental disorder due to her estrangement and separation from her milieu and she behaves strangely amidst the social surroundings as she has to contend with her family traditional limitation and her own personal desires (A Rose for Emily Themes, 2008). She poisons her lover by suppressing her loving desires to meet him and marry him just because of her father and people of town. Emily had been innocent and chaste but her hair, other physical features, her settings of home depicts her resistibility to change, her tormented soul, torn up due to her father’s restraints and her suppression of her own desires (Bernardo, 2008).

Though she loves Homer but tries to ignore her love for him by leaving herself alone at her home. Her white dressing has been changed into black dressing after death of her lover, Homer, reflecting her as widow or mourner. How her home and her own character, personality begins to degenerate gradually due to unforgettable influences of her father’s restrictions even after his death or social limitations which constrains herself to be spinster whole life.

Works Cited

A Rose for Emily Summary / Study Guide. Web.

A Rose for Emily Themes. Web.

Bernardo, Karen Bernardo, 2008, William Faulkner’s “A Rose For Emily” Commentary by Karen Bernardo. Web.

Janice et al, 2008, Janice A. Powell, Middle Park High School, Granby, Colorado, Changing Portraits in “A Rose for Emily”. Web.

Faulkner, 1929-30, A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner. Web.