Essays24.com - Term Papers and Free Essays
Search

1960

Essay by 24  •  December 2, 2010  •  2,337 Words (10 Pages)  •  997 Views

Essay Preview: 1960

Report this essay
Page 1 of 10

"A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner tells the story of an unconventional spinster ; Emily Grierson and her eccentric relationships with her father, lover, and the town of Jefferson.

The story is told by an unknown Narrator who is clearly a town resident ("when Miss Emily died, our whole town went to her funeral.."), and the story unfurls in a non-chronological order. We are given the ending first, we know Miss Emily Grierson is already dead when the story begins, but we also know the story is about her. I believe this technique is used to create empathy for the character of Emily because you only see her through the eyes of the people of Jefferson, who would often talk about her behind her back; but she's referred to as "poor Emily".

The order of the story is also used to build up tension and suspense; the story starts and Emily is already dead, she may have been murdered of committed suicide? We read on; and this is not the case. The story gives you small indications of what's coming in the end, for example you know she's possibly mad or mentally disturbed when you read; "she did that for three days, with the ministers calling on her, and the doctors, trying to persuade her to let them dispose of the body. just as they were about to resort to law and force, she broke down, and they buried her father." Also the passage in the story where she buys Arsenic but will not tell the druggist what it's for, but she states that she wants "the best" they have.

I wondered why the William Faulkner chose the name Emily, I thought there had to be more to it, it couldn't just be a random name he pulled out of the air. I looked up the name "Emily", which derives from the Latin name "Aemulus" , meaning "rival". I thought the name "Emily" was perfect for our main character; who I feel is having an internal struggle within herself.

Emily is the main character in this story, you are given a brief background on her by the narrator , but you never find out how she feels or what she's thinking. She's come from a well respected family and so she is well respected by the town's people and this is realised instantly as in the first line she is described as a "fallen monument", meaning she was a woman of great importance. The town feels like they are obligated to care for her after her Father dies which shows that her family had been quite important people in the Town's Society and she seems to have some sort of power over the town.

Colonel Sartoris invented a tale that Emily's father had loaned the town money so that she didn't have to pay taxes, but when the board of Aldermen came to talk to Miss Emily she stood her ground insisting that she had "no taxes in Jefferson" , but then Faulkner gives you the first clue that she's lost touch with reality when she insists the board of Aldermen go and see Colonel Sartoris; who by that time had been dead and buried for almost 10 years. The charges are instantly dropped, and I think this shows that the Town's people are scared of her; maybe they believe she's gone crazy.

We are told that Mr Grierson (Emily's father) had "driven" away all the young men who'd showed interest in Emily, I'm not sure why he did this, I thought maybe he may have wanted to protect her but then ultimately when he dies he leaves her with only the house and Tobe, a Negro servant. I also came up with a theory that maybe Miss Emily was mixed race (maybe half African/American?) as there's no mention of her mother and to me it would explain why Tobe (the Negro servant) stays by her side until she eventually dies, and he never says anything to anyone, he keeps all her secrets and when she passes away he just leaves through the back exit of the house. I thought this theory would work, because maybe she was the product of an affair that Mr Grierson may have had, and maybe that's why he didn't let her out much and didn't bother trying to marry her off, maybe he was ashamed of her? The only reason I don't think this theory would work is because the story is set at a time when there was a lot of racism and I don't think Miss Emily would've been accepted by the people of Jefferson, neither would her affair with Homer Barron have worked because it mentions that he'd "cuss the Niggers" .

I thought Miss Emily's affair with Homer Barron; a sun-kissed ,Yankee-labourer , was almost like a rebellion against her father ; who always thought there was no one good enough for Emily.

I feel that Emily is haunted by the Ghost of her father through-out the story . She seems to be living the life that she wants when she meets Homer Barron ,then after he "disappears" she becomes a recluse again ,then a few years later she starts giving china - painting lessons at home. The Narrator mentions this shortly after the disappearance of Homer Barron "..as if the quality of her father which had thwarted her woman's life so many times had been too virulent and furious to die."

I believe that Emily fell in love with Homer Barron and wanted him to marry her , but was then hurt when he told her "He liked the company of men" and that "he was not the marrying type". I believe that Homer was a flirt and didn't mind leading Emily on and was actually quite fond of her company (otherwise he wouldnÐ''t have come back to see her after all his work was finished ), but that at heart he was a bachelor and didn't want to be tied down. That's why I feel Emily decided to kill him, he didn't want her in life so she thought in death she could keep him. She didn't see this as a problem, I think it's safe to say she'd gone crazy or was mentally ill and so created a fantasy that they would marry which is why "Miss Emily had been to the jeweller's and ordered a man's toilet set in silver with the letters H.B on each piece" and why "she had bought a complete outfit of men's clothing, including a nightshirtÐ'...".

I think Emily's china-painting lesson's are not only to put her back in touch with the outside world, but is also a realisation that she'll never have children and is an attempt to fill that empty void.

There are very few descriptions of how Emily looks but I would say the most affective one would be ; "when we saw her again, her hair was cut short, making her look like a girl, with a vague resemblance to those angels in coloured church windows- sort of tragic and serene." It gave me the image of someone with a child-like innocence who clearly was in dire need of some help, she sounds very lost. The other thing that grabs

...

...

Download as:   txt (12.3 Kb)   pdf (156.9 Kb)   docx (13.5 Kb)  
Continue for 9 more pages »
Only available on Essays24.com
Citation Generator

(2010, 12). 1960. Essays24.com. Retrieved 12, 2010, from https://www.essays24.com/essay/1960/16536.html

"1960" Essays24.com. 12 2010. 2010. 12 2010 <https://www.essays24.com/essay/1960/16536.html>.

"1960." Essays24.com. Essays24.com, 12 2010. Web. 12 2010. <https://www.essays24.com/essay/1960/16536.html>.

"1960." Essays24.com. 12, 2010. Accessed 12, 2010. https://www.essays24.com/essay/1960/16536.html.