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Emily Grierson: A Woman Gone Mad For Love

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Jessica Murdock

January 2, 2007

Emily Grierson: A Woman Gone Mad For Love

To be able to choose your own partner in life is such an important issue for all of us. How can choosing a spouse for someone be a healthy situation for the people involved? When treated like a child, with no mind to think and act for ourselves, it is inevitable that one would go completely mad. In this fantastic story "A Rose for Emily" written by William Faulkner, the upscale, well-to-do, Prima Donna protagonist, Miss Emily Grierson is imprisoned by her antagonist father who shields her from the world of innocent activities that young ladies and gentleman get to partake in as they journey to find their soul mates. Well into her 30's Emily's father passes. Now, free from her father, she sits desperately alone, waiting for her chance at love.

Emily, an anxious woman, realizes her time has come to meet a man. She remembers the way her father controlled and manipulated her in front of prospective suitors. He would never give her a chance to experience love: "None of the young men were quite good enough for Miss Emily and such. We had long thought of them as tableau, Miss Emily a slender figure in white in the background, her father a spraddled silhouette in the foreground, his back to her and clutching a horsewhip, the two of them framed by the back-flung front door" (32). All of her life she waits patiently for a good man to come and rescue her from her slowly festering insanity. She sits confined between the bland walls of her father's barren house treated as a trophy that no man could ever win. When she the age of 30, Emily's father dies. She keeps his body for 3 days in the house, not wanting to let go of the only man that "loved her": "We remembered all the young men her father had driven away and we knew that with nothing left, she would have to cling to that which had robbed her, as people will" (32). He was gone and now she was truly alone.

At last Emily thinks she found the man of her dreams in Homer. He isn't the kind of man that would make her father proud but, the man that she insistently is going to be with forever. She finally has control over her life and she is taking the lead full force: "Of course a Grierson would not think seriously of a Northerner, a day laborer...But there were still others, older people, who said that even grief could not cause a real lady to forget noblesse oblige" (33). Emily is a proud woman even though her father had isolated her from the world for so long. She is going to get what she wants no matter what it takes: "She carried her head high enough-even when we believed that she was fallen" (33). Emily is not going to be made a fool of again in the town she grew up in. She is finally free to live her life on her own terms.

Regardless of what the town thinks about her and Homer, Emily is proud of their relationship. She shows this by keeping her head held high: "She will marry him." "Then we said, "She will persuade him yet," because Homer



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