25 April 2012
“A Rose for Emily”
People will go great measures to avoid letting a loved one go. In William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily,” dreams collide with the real world. Miss Emily Grierson was raised by a narcissistic father who created an isolated woman. Her father secluded her from the rest of the world by assuring no one was good enough for her. After her beloved father’s death, she struggled to let him go. Later in her life, she meets a man named Homer Barron, who was in town to fix the town’s streets. The unknown narrator, who lives in the town, and fellow townspeople notice Miss Emily’s happiness with Homer and believe that they will get married. The ...view middle of the document...
The reason they were glad was because they could finally pity her and “she had become humanized” like the rest of the town (Faulkner 439). She now has to deal with being alone and “would now know the thrill and the old despair of a penny more or less” (Faulkner 439). The narrator and the town want Miss Emily to experience what it is like to be on her own and not being controlled by her narcissistic father. Miss Emily is now a free human, like the rest of the townspeople, and has to deal with the hardships in everyday life.
The house is all that is passed on to Miss Emily from her father. The house is the greatest building on the street, even though it is falling to part as it ages. The narrator’s description of the house resembles Miss Emily. When he included that the house was “stubborn and coquettish,” these characteristics also describe Miss Emily (Faulkner 437). The house is also described as “an eyesore among eyesores” and Emily is described as the same way, for example, her eyes, which “looked like two small pieces of coal pressed into a lump of dough” (Faulkner 437-438). The narrator’s description of Miss Emily is of death in life.
Homer Barron is a northern day laborer, which at the time is one step above a black man in the south. He comes to town as a worker for a construction company that is contracted for paving the town’s sidewalks shortly after Miss Emily’s father’s death. The town is glad to see that Miss Emily has an interest in Homer because after her father’s death, she did not leave her house very often, if at all, and her only family remaining are cousins in Alabama. Although she has family in Alabama, they did not contact each other and even did not attend the funeral for Miss Emily’s father. Homer resembled Emily’s father and many people from the town believed that she liked this man because he reminded her of her late father. Although there was a clear difference between them in class, he became Miss Emily’s sweetheart. Many people of the town also believed that Miss Emily was married to Homer, especially after she “ordered a man’s toilet set in silver, with the letters H. B. on each piece” (Faulkner 441).
Unfortunately for Miss Emily, Homer “liked men” (Faulkner 441). Thus, there is a suggestion that Homer is a homosexual, and therefore he is not a marrying man. If Miss Emily dreams of marrying this man, her sweetheart, it is not going to happen. The town noticed this problem and the narrator spoke for the townspeople when he said, “she will persuade him yet” (Faulkner 440).
Once the town’s streets were finished, Homer left town for a couple of days and the townspeople believes that “he had gone to prepare for Miss Emily’s coming, or to give her a chance to get rid of the cousins” (Faulkner 441). Just as the town predicts, Homer returns after three days and is let into the kitchen part of Miss Emily’s house by a Negro man, according to a neighbor that witnessed his entering. The narrator...