A Rose for Emily: Literary Analysis Essay

1013 Words Sep 29th, 2011 5 Pages
William Faulkner’s
“A Rose for Emily”
Literary Analysis

In William Faulkner’s story “A Rose for Emily” his main character Miss Emily Grierson’s deranged behavior leaves the reader questioning her mental status. Emily comes from a family with high expectations of her a sort of “hereditary obligation” (30). Emily has been mentally manipulated by her as so indicated in the line of the story “we did not say she was crazy then we believed she had to do that we remember all the young men her father had driven away” (32). There is already proof of mental illness in the family “remembering how old lady Wyatt, her great aunt, had gone completely crazy last” (32). The first indication the narrator gives us of Miss Emily’s
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“They are married” (34). Homer Barron leaves the home of Miss Emily; however, he is last seen entering her home at dusk through the kitchen. The next time that Miss Emily is seen she had “grown fat and her hair was turning gray- iron gray” (35). Miss Emily appears to have gone through another episode of depression living her life as a recluse in the home left to her by her father. Upon the death of Emily Grierson when the ladies of the town entered her home for the final time they found Miss Grierson in one of the downstairs bedrooms. The townspeople however knew that there was a bedroom upstairs. Upon the violent breaking down of the door to the bedroom they noticed on the dressing table “the man’s toilet things backed with tarnished silver, silver so tarnished the monogram was obscured. Among them lay collar and tie, as if they had just been removed. Upon a chair hung the suit, carefully folded; beneath it the two mute shoes and the discarded socks” (35). “The man himself lay in the bed” (35). The final paragraph of William Faulkner’s story sums up how mentally ill Emily Grierson truly was. “For a long time we just stood there, looking down at the profound and fleshless grin. The body had apparently once lain in the attitude of an embrace. What was left of him, rotted beneath what was left of the nightshirt” (35). “Then we noticed that in the second pillow was the indentation of a head. One of us lifted something from

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