Miss Emily Grierson in Faulkner’s A Rose for Emily
The story “A Rose for Emily” is a short story by William Faulkner. The story is centered on Emily Grierson who just passed away. Miss. Emily was an isolated woman throughout most of her life, partly, because of her father’s incestuous relationship with her. Miss. Emily is a peculiar lone woman who acts in ways that causes the attention of many people. Emily Grierson is recognized particularly as an eccentric spinster in the town. She also has an obsessive relationship with a man named Homer Barron. The resentment of the townspeople can be seen in Miss.
Emily’s funeral. The men attend the funeral because of obligation and the women go primarily because no one had stepped in Emily’s house for years. When Emily’s father passed away, he left her no money. The mayor Colonel Sartoris remitted her taxes by inventing a story that her father had loaned the town money, to save her from the embarrassment of accepting charity. Despite not leaving Emily any money, Mr. Grierson is a controlling, looming presence even after his death, and the town can see his long lasting influence over Emily.
This is especially made clear in her thirties when she has her first real relationship. Homer Barron was Emily’s first real beau. She had never experienced a relationship because of her father’s insisting thoughts the no suitor was ever good enough for her. Her father was practically her emotional and financial supporter. So Homer Barron is particularly known for taking her out in a yellow wheeled buggy on Sundays, which makes Emily develop interest in him.
Although Emily has interest in Homer, he has been seen drinking in the bar with other men, and has made clear that he is not a marrying man. These acts indicate that Homer is most likely interested in men rather than woman. Miss. Emily does not like the idea that Homer, the first man in her love life is not interested in her, so she buys arsenic for a specific purpose. Miss. Emily kills Homer Barron and keeps him in her house for years. Her odd behavior is due to the fact that she probably does not want to feel abandoned anymore. When Miss.
Emily Grierson died at the age of 74 her father’s portrait was above her casket. This particular detail indicates symbolism in the story. Mr. Grierson had authority over Emily even after her death. This shows that he left a lasting effect on her life and her lifestyle. He has left her financially and emotionally devastated. Miss. Emily’s mental state of mind is obvious, knowing that she refused to recognize that her father had died and does not let anyone remove him from her house for three days. The death of Mr. Grierson has made Miss.
Emily psychotically unwilling to allow anyone else to abandon her. It is interesting to see how the rose in the title actually represents Miss. Emily, and the flower eventually gets dried out like Homer did in Miss. Emily’s attic. A rose is also one of the most beautiful flowers but in the story it is opposite to Miss. Emily’s hard and secluded life. Miss. Emily being an odd unmarried woman makes her different from all the other people in the town. Mr. Grierson’s influence on Emily practically framed and shaped her personality and who she came to be as an adult.