Custom «William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily» Essay Paper Sample
A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner was published in1930. It is a story of a peculiar spinster known as Emily Grierson. This story is narrated by an unidentified narrator who illustrates the “peculiar” circumstances of Emily's life and her strange relationships with her father, her lover Homer Barron, the town of Jefferson, and the terrible secret that she kept. The anonymous narrator in a big way describes the funeral of Emily Grierso (Polk & William 68). In this story, Emily suffers from a lot of distorted perception from her community. I will show this in this paper.
The town of Jefferson where Emily came from perceived the narrator as their voice as citizens. The narrator explains that while the men attended the funeral “as a sign of obligation on their side” (Polk & William 72); the women attended the funeral mainly because no one among them had been in Emily's house for many years. Emily's origin was noble, but the house and the neighborhood she lived in were deteriorated. The narrator remarks that, before her death, Emily had been like a “sort of heritable obligation bestowed upon the people” (Polk & William 74).
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This was so because Colonel Sartoris, the former mayor of the town submitted Emily’s taxes dating from the death of her father “on into eternity” (Polk & William 86). The neighborhood that Emily lived in seemed to fabricate Emily's character based on the gossip that was in town. Both physically and in her personality Emily is portrayed as the material of rumor rather than a self-motivated person. She is gossiped and there are speculations from a distance by the people in her community. People portray her one with an inert and unexciting character, someone who lives more of an “old-fashioned” or fable, rather than a real human being. In the story, Emily is also described as a “monument” because of her legendry trait (Polk & William 99).
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Emily is portrayed as a strong woman because she suffers from a lot of distorted perception from her community. She shows a strong inner sense of pride in herself and also her family. All through the story, Emily shows a sense of strength; for example, when she refutes the men who come to collect her taxes, even though her source of evidence has been dead for many years. She seems to show strength even when these men are sneaking around her house putting down lime so as to block out the smell.
Emily Grierson has a character of profound respect and dependence on the past and her origin. She comes from a “traditional” family and does not change her principles even when majority of the people in her town change theirs. She relied on the past to determine her act. For instance, in the incident where she was involved with Homer Barron, she apparently tried to convince him to stay with her (Polk & William 101). In this situation, her primary mental problems intervened and she went too far to protect herself. She killed Homer with arsenic then slept with his dead body each night until she died. In this case, we can say that she is necrophiliac.
In conclusion, Emily suffers from a lot of distorted perception from her community. Some see her as a “heritable burden,” others see her as a strong woman, while others say that she is traditional. All these perceptions have affected her life immensely.