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A Rose for Emily: Character Analysis of Emily Grierson

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Character Analysis of Emily Grierson

In the story “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner we meet a character named Emily Grierson who makes us question everyone's sanity. After reading the story and some materials from the Literature Resource Center I gained better understanding of the events of the story which helped me to better understand Miss.Emily. Emily resided in a town full of people who saw her as a mean and distant woman who was stuck living in the past. The story is narrated by the townspeople who didn't barley talk to her, let alone understand her. Throughout this short story they tell their opinions of her weird relationships and odd behaviors.

Miss. Emily always kept to herself and made sure no one ever really knew the real her. She used her house as shield from the world and never allowed anyone in except for on specific, and mostly scheduled occasions. An overview of the story stated that “Emily's house smelled of dust and “disuse.”(Overview). The only time Miss. Emily got unexpected visits was usually when they came and tried to collect her taxes that she refused to pay because of a deal made years prior. She repeats several times in the text that she has “no taxes in Jefferson” (Faulkner) and that the county’s Board of Aldermen could speak with Colonel Sartoris if they felt the need. She was not an easy women to try and settle with and for that reason no one argued or thought it was strange when she told them to speak with the deceased Colonel Sartoris.

After her run in with the Board Miss. Emily makes the plot a bit weirder when she buys poison and refuses to state her intended purposes. The pharmacist finds the request odd but like

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the rest of the town he does not question it and turns the other cheek. While Emily knew exactly what she would use the poison for the townspeople assumed that she would use it to kill herself. After awhile they had no choice but to face reality when a strong smell came from Miss. Emily's home. “On the basis of the evidence, it is inconceivable, I think, that the townspeople did not know early on about Emily's killing Homer Barron. For 40 years, her guilt must have been obvious to them even though they may never have admitted it in conversation among themselves”(Dilworth). Not only did Emily kill her lover and kept him rotting in her home, she earlier refused to admit



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