Essays on A Rose For Emily

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22 essay examples found

A Rose for Emily: Emily’S Alienation

William Faulkner’s short story, “A Rose for Emily” was narrated nonchronologically. Faulkner created a southern city, in his story, much like the one he personally lived in when he grew to be five. In “A Rose for Emily” Emily’s family are southern aristocrats. Emily’s father isolates her. The town considers Emily nothing more than a […]

Pages: 3 Words: 908

A Rose for Emily Theme: Emily’S Dependence on Home

The short story, “A Rose for Emily”, by William Faulkner is recognized as a love story gone wrong. It is a masterpiece of short fiction and considered to be one of the greatest American literature. The story is told from the point of view of a nameless narrator and a longtime member of the Jefferson […]

Pages: 4 Words: 1082
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“A Rose for Emily” Plot Review

In ​A Rose For Emily,​ by William Faulkner. Plot plays an important role in how the story is played out. Faulkner does not use chronological order in this short story. Instead, he uses an order that has many twists and turns. It appears to have no relevance while being read, but in turn, plays an […]

Pages: 2 Words: 622

An Analysis of The Setting of The Short Story “A Rose for Emily”

In William Faulkner’s short story, “A Rose for Emily.” He sets the town in a fictional post-civil war, creepy town by the name of Jefferson in Mississippi, in a county by the name of “Yoknapatawapha.” A small town in the south of the United States. Faulkner’s use of this certain period of time is effective […]

Pages: 5 Words: 1356

Mental Illness in a Rose for Emily

In this story there are many signs that point out that Miss Emily is mentally ill. Many of the clues and hints are vague, but when they are put together the picture becomes obvious. It was never stated from what illness she is suffering from, but we can determine that she was suffering from some […]

Pages: 4 Words: 1238

Southern Gothic Literacy in a Rose for Emily

Gothic can be characterized as ‘writing managing the abnormal, puzzling, and extraordinary intended to conjure tension and fear in the peruser.’ Gothic writing for the most part exhibits similar topics and themes: love, lust. Gothic writing investigates forbidden subjects; for example, murder, suicide and inbreeding. ‘A Rose for Emily’, by William Faulkner, illustrates the Southern […]

Pages: 2 Words: 556

Analysis of The Story a Rose for Emily

In ‘A Rose for Emily’, William Faulkner describes the account of an old and devastate a lady stuck in her special time range. Her controlling father kicked the container someplace in the scope of thirty years back, and she has never altogether found her one of a kind ground. Her home has transformed into the […]

Pages: 5 Words: 1386

An Analysis of Death and Change in “A Rose for Emily”

In “A Rose for Emily,” a short story by William Faulkner, Miss Emily is a very stubborn character, reluctant to accept change into her life. She insists on isolating herself from the rest of her town rather than modernizing and refuses to acknowledge either her father’s passing or her lover, Homer Barron’s, death and decay. […]

Pages: 4 Words: 1106

Emily Grierson’s Life in The “A Rose for Emily”

Reading this story it had left me without thinking in wondering what could be so true. The author used many different styles of foreshowing to show us as the readers Within “A Rose for Emily” the character experiences conflicts regarding death, within her marriage, and issues internally. There is no doubt that Emily committed a […]

Pages: 2 Words: 617

Watkins’ Article on The Story “A Rose for Emily”

In the article, Watkins praises Faulkner’s short story “A Rose for Emily” through its unique structure. Watkins, describing it as one of Faulkner’s best, goes into detail explaining the breakup of the different sections showing how it affects the depiction of the story. Watkins explains the sections saying that each one allowed Faulkner to focus […]

Pages: 2 Words: 489

Emily’S Life in Denial in “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner

A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner is a short story of sadness concerning a woman, Emily, who faces a struggle of inability to adapt to the changes in her life and the surrounding thus she results to living in denial and fear within herself. The story is demarcated into five sections with each section […]

Pages: 3 Words: 809

The Aspect of Time in “A Rose for Emily”

“Leave the past in the past,” my mother often told me. Whether I had just broken a vase, spilt some juice, or gotten a bad grade on a test, my mom never wanted me to dwell on my blunders. When it came to the mistakes I had made, her main objective was to help me […]

Pages: 2 Words: 659

The Life of Miss Emily Grierson in a Rose for Emily

In the short story A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner, Emily Grierson is the protagonist, and the whole story revolves around her. The story begins with a large funeral of Miss Emily and unfolds her life. Miss Emily Grierson is described to be a fat woman living in a modernized town which was full […]

Pages: 2 Words: 490

Point of View About The Story ”A Rose for Emily”

William Faulkner was an artist at his writing and he used many different tactics to weave a tale and tell a story; one of which is the point of view. In his short story, “A Rose for Emily”, he successfully uses a first-person or people narrative that is evident in the first sentence of the […]

Pages: 2 Words: 700

The Woman Caught in Time in “A Rose for Emily”

A Rose for Emily, a short story by William Faulker, is a timeless classic about a woman trapped in time. Miss Emily Grierson, who will be referred to as Emily, was a beautiful southern belle who never found a husband; her dad also died. These two events caused the traditional southern town to pity her. […]

Pages: 2 Words: 516

Reasons Why Emily Is Insane in “A Rose for Emily”

Jules verne once said, “Solitude and isolation are painful things and beyond human endurance.” In “A Rose for Emily,” by William Faulkner he reveals throughout the short story the unstable mind of Miss Emily Grierson. “A Rose for Emily” tells the story of a woman named Emily Grierson and her life in a nonlinear style. […]

Pages: 2 Words: 693

The Victim in Emily Grierson in “A Rose for Emily”

In short stories, victims are usually portrayed as the villain of the story, but in reality, they’re the complete opposite. The media always has a tendency to villainize victims, such as Tamir Rice, who was shown to the public as a gun-slinging 12 year old loose in Cleveland, when in reality, he held a toy […]

Pages: 3 Words: 972

A Critique of Emily Grierson in a Rose for Emily

Environmental factors play a major role in how a person grows and develops. These circumstances can either positively or negatively affect someone. Emily Grierson’s inability to change is a perfect example of what may happen if an individual is brought up in a toxic environment. In the story “A Rose for Emily,” by William Faulkner, […]

Pages: 3 Words: 806

Roses for Emily: The Conflict Between The Old and The New Generation

Before the Civil War in America, the south was famous for its thriving farms, beautiful estates, and the alluring inhabitants that lived there. Nevertheless, after the Civil War, the once thriving south had been left broken. It was time for change in a society solely based on traditional heritage. Older generation southerners were still hanging […]

Pages: 2 Words: 706

Roses for Emily: Emily’S Creepy Story

Southern Gothic scholars were occupied with investigating the extraordinary, introverted practices that were regularly a response against a restricting code of social direct. Southern Gothic frequently depended on the conviction that day by day life and the refined surface of the social request was delicate and deceptive, camouflaging exasperating substances or curved minds. Faulkner, with […]

Pages: 3 Words: 785

The Insanity of Miss Emily

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” (Einstein). A Rose for Emily is a short story written by William Faulkner about the life of Miss Emily and her descent into insanity. Through the story Miss Emily gets caught in the past and shows no want or need to conform […]

Pages: 3 Words: 987

Comparing and Contrasting The Works of William Faulkner

Introduction William Faulkner was an American novelist who was known for writing mysterious works of literature. Some might would say that his literary works were somewhat “disturbing.” Family and community were always important aspects that Faulkner tried to incorporate into his literature. Faulkner’s, A Rose for Emily and Barn Burning focus on the protection of […]

Pages: 4 Words: 1235

William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily”, is a Southern sad, but eerie short story that is profoundly burden with Psychological conflicts, deterioration, rejection, displacement, self-restraint and necrophilia. From the beginning to the end Faulkner has you being led with clues as seen and said by the town’s folks as they capture a few glimpses of Emily’s sad and psychotic life. The very basics psychoanalytic element ego, and superego can also be found here.

“A Rose for Emily,” is a distorted journey beyond psychotic personality of Emily Grierson. Who is a dubious old spinster in the town of Jefferson. Emily resides with her strict overbearing father who forbids her to converse with any man. The narrator distinctively speaks from the perspective view of the town’s people most often using the word owe, and characterizes the superego, which is the role of psyche led by morals. The town’s people are the ones who agree or disagree of Emily’s behavior as acceptable or forbidden, within them we learn what Emily is like. The people only see bits and pieces which they combine for assumptions and judgments since Emily barely socializes.

You can tell that Emily’s father was a very controlling man as seen in a portrait with Emily standing behind him with her father “clutching a horsewhip.” All suiters were turned away, because they were not good enough of the family name. “None of the young men were quite good enough for Miss Emily and such.” The Griersons held themselves a little too high for what they really were. (Faulkner) His excessively domineering behavior was a result of the superego that controlled his psyche and made him choose to isolate his daughter from the opposite sex as the society expected that being a Grierson she had to remain pure and wed someone of her particular class as the family tradition commands. It brought about sexual oppression in her because she was never able to date any gentleman, she kept suppressing her sexual desires in her psyche and it disturbed her persona severely.

These obscure frustrated desires, hurt, anger had become part of her Id as she grows up. The town’s people come to pay their respects when her father passes away and are dumbfounded as Emily rejects to release the dead body and is in a state of denial by telling the towns ’people that he wasn’t dead. By psychoanalytic theory, all her oppressed sexual frustration becomes part of the Id that is automatically driving her behavior and makes her fixated of having a man and since she was deprived of that all her life, the only man Emily can possess was her father. The repression of the hidden sexual desires she felt guilty of expressing turn into displacement then, as she takes away all repressed emotions by clinging to a dead body of her father. Displacement happens as a security system, when a person takes outrage and the frustration of a psychological conflict on someone else, other than the issue which caused it.

“The day after his death all the ladies prepared to call at the house and offer condolence and aid, as is our custom’ Miss Emily met them at the door, dressed as usual and with no trace of grief on her face. She told them that her father was not dead. She did that for three days, with the ‘ministers calling on her, and the doctors, trying to persuade her to let them dispose of the body. Just as they were about to resort to law and force, she broke down, and they buried her father quickly. We did not say she was crazy then. We believed she had to do that. 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.” (Faulker) Because of a history of sexual repression, Emily as a defense shows a behavior of evading, because social communication can result in bringing up horrible feelings of her psyche. She doesn’t go out very much and spends time in isolation. Her house is old, tarnished from inside reeking of decay and shows her lack of interest in life. Her persona was destroyed, and she acts abnormally because all the unsolved feelings she kept accumulating in her unconscious drive her conscious behavior.

When the deputy mayors come to ask her for taxes she hasn’t paid, she drives them out harshly showing rage of being approached. She dodges people all together and is unable to establish regular relationships and refuses to adapt to the reality of life stubbornly. The three distinct types Id, ego and superego from the human psyche, all must be analyzed to figure out Emily’s fall from stability from Falkner’s “A Rose for Emily.” Emily’s Id, her very most basic and original yearning is to have a man, something she has been deprived of all her life. Repression doesn’t remove her sexual desires. These repressed feelings appear after two years of her father’s passing, when she faces a road paver Homer, Barron outside her house and starts an affair with him. She is seldom seen with him on Sunday midafternoons riding in a yellow/wheeled buggy, her Id meanwhile fulfills her desire of having a mate, but the superego part of Emily’s psyches is shown through the town’s people’ who find it difficult as Homer is a low class day workhand and doesn’t meet Emily’s status. “Of course, a Grierson would not think seriously of a Northerner, a day laborer”; she is being a lady should not fall from noble grace public ally as they saw her.” (Faulkner).

Back in the past Emily did try to keep a superficial sense of normalcy less than the influence of her superego. In the combined eyes of the town’s people’ “Miss Emily had been a tradition, a duty and a care, a sort of hereditary obligation upon the town,” and she had also taught china painting to some young children from the neighborhood after she had met Homer. She is what Jefferson once was, proper and traditional. (Faulkner) That was the exemplification of Miss Emily’s Superego, what was anticipated, what was socially accepted, and morally true. As the story further progresses, everyone from town believes that Emily and Homer wed, though they have learned that Homer was a homosexual, but they still wonder if she might’ve encourage him to wed her as she was setting a poor example for the younger generation by being seen with a man openly. They ask some church men to go and support her on the bad issue.” Then some of the ladies began to say that it was a disgrace to the town and a bad example to the young people. The men did not want to interfere, but at last the ladies forced the Baptist minister, Miss Emely’s people were Episcopal to call upon her. He would never divulge what happened during that interview, but he refused to go back again.”(Faulkner).

In Emily’s mind, Homer presented the chance of potential marriage as she was oblivious of him being a gay; her ego settles with the Id for a behavior that is reality based, so that the contentment of her sexual desires can take place in a suitable way. A year has gone by of meeting Homer, Emily is observed purchasing a silver toilet set for men from the ‘jeweler’s, a nightshirt and some men’s clothing. So, everyone in town still thinks Emily finally had wed, as her man servant is also seen later taking Homer inside the house. That will be the last time anyone sees the newlyweds for the following six months. Everyone believes that she has been deprived of a loving relation by her father that maybe this might have liked staying inside with husband and finally enjoy a blissful marriage, “But for almost six ‘months she did not appear on the streets. Then we knew that this was to be expected too; as if that quality of her father which had thwarted her woman’s life so many times had been too virulent and too furious to die.”

For about seven years, he kept giving lessons of china painting on the ground floor of the house, while the top story was kept locked and windows were shut forever. Till the age of forty, generations after generations saw this perverse woman get old, and her man servant going out for grocery, but no one knew what happened to Homer. Some men from the town’s council were called in to sprinkle lime around Emily’s house because of the rotten smell coming from the house, and once she died at the rightful age of seventy-four they discovered that she had poisoned Homer and killed him long ago, it was his dead corpse rotting in the bed in the upstairs of the house. Emily used to sleep with the corpse till she died herself.

From psychoanalytic point of view, this abnormal behavior was caused by her unconscious repressed sexual desires, which were part of her Id, because Homer rejected her proposal, she could not find any other means of possessing him within the limits that her ego allowed, so her id took over displaying her animal self. Ego is where Emily’s two more extreme selves collide. Emily’s ego is ticketed with the deed of self-preservation. How does Emily dwell with herself knowing she’d killed her lover and sleeps in bed next to his corpse every night? By far better question might be how does Miss Emily conduct art lessons with children downstairs, with the corpse of her lover rotting above? This juggling act is the job of her ego. Her ego bridges it’s gap and finds a middle ground inside which she can live, going about her daily duties.

Emily’s Id is clearly the most dominant portion of her psyche’ in fact it is her ego’s inability to control the impulses of the terrible and reigning Id that allowed her to murder her beloved to begin by. When one of our three selves outweigh the other two# we are not well balanced and can’t mature as an adult. Faulkner’s story comes to a full circle with the town’s people attending Emily’s funeral. They could barely wait “until Miss Emily was decently in the ground,” (Faulkner) before they went to her home and discover her ghastly secrets.

The town’s people had not fathomed what they were about to discover. While the dust, decay, and curtains of faded rose could be expected, no one expected to find the corpse of Homer in Miss Emily’s bed nor did they expect to find “a long strand of [Miss Emily’s] iron-gray hair” on the pillow as though she had been sleeping in the corpse embrace for over forty years. Her unconscious repressed feelings make her repeat her past in a form of regression, which in Freudian terms is a temporary return to a former psychological state which is not ‘just imagined but relived. Just like she wasn’t letting go of her father’s dead body, she killed her lover and possessed his dead body driven by the unconsciously operating Id, that fulfilled her primal desire in an animalistic way rather than a reality/based ego or socially acceptable way superego would have allowed. Repression returns in Miss Emily’s personality in the form of developing madness, or how she tries to preserve the little that.

She has left in her life, by using horrible means of keeping her lover by her side. Her lover Homer then presents “the lost object of desire,” for Emily, that she lost while entering the Symbolic order from the preverbal, Imaginary order. The repression of her desire for union with the mother formed her unconscious mind# and the acquisition of language then made her aware of the “lack” in her conscious experience. This side of her reflects a failure inhere development as a grown-up, mature individual, who has come to terms with the lack and losing her life successfully and does not seek to replace it by using fake means. She has obviously not overcome the loss, and she strives to remain in the realm of the world of sexuality, filling in the gap with an imaginary lover, who is no longer real and living.

Emily is entering a world of loss and lack where her desire cannot be fulfilled, and where there are rules and restrictions that she must obey. Thus, she tries to live abnormally in an illusionary pre-verbal world, where her dead lover is in her control and possession making her feel satisfied. The dead body of Homer is a metaphor or a stand-in for her lost. Emily unconsciously desires it and is drawn to her Imaginary order in search of something she can’t identify.