Loneliness And Isolationism In William Faulkner's A Rose For Emily

1669 Words 7 Pages
William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily” captures the horror of loneliness and isolation in the heart of a community. Emily Grierson is an out-worldly and unwanted presence in the town of Jefferson, encompassing all the opposite values of the place and time she was living in. She represents the old, aristocratic world, forever in conflict with the modern values and fast-paced new generations, from which she retreated under an impenetrable shell.
What is interesting about Emily Grierson is that she might not even be the main character of her story. The narrative does not exactly follow her life, but that of the community and their wavering and biased opinions on her. Starting from the first paragraph, the story seems less about Emily and more
…show more content…
Throughout the story, the way she is talked about makes her resemble a character from a book rather than a real person, an entity analyzed from a distance, without anyone being able to completely engage in her world. The town inhabitants kept her under close scrutiny but never attempted to understand her more than on an extremely superficial level, and their opinions on her would always sway in a common direction. Their limited understanding of her made them behave like sheep, as they always share a common opinion on her, without anyone having any original thought about the reasons or significance of her acts. She was either pitied (“poor Emily” – Faulkner 5, “people had begun to feel really sorry for her” – Faulkner 4) or dehumanized and misunderstood, and either way, viewed as a “stereotype rather than as a living person.” …show more content…
[…] And she knew she was doing wrong, and that's why her—her own life was wrecked.” (Faulkner in the University 58) Miss Emily is also a victim of herself, of the weakness that she hid behind her pride, of the choices she would not admit being wrong and of her not being able to stop time – for, although life went on and flourished, becoming more modern, breaking out from old values and habits, the only road she took was towards the death of both her body and soul.
Thus, “A Rose for Emily” is a tragic story of pride and conflicting values, of life and death and of new and old. Seen through the lens of a scrutinizing community, Emily is an anti-hero who was continuously engaged in a quiet fight with all those who surrounded her, which led her to a lifetime of seclusion and

Related Documents