It was a conservative at that time. According to the plot in this story we can tell” Dammit, sir, will you accuse a lady to her face of smelling bad? ”(The Norton introduction to literature. W. W Norton & Company, Inc. p. 393) On regular cases, it was impossible that our neighbor be affordable to such stinky smell and not to tell us. We can figure out that the villager in the town was respectful to Emily and her family so they don’t want to annoy Emily. However, they sometimes also felt pity for Emily’s situation and even a kind of contempt.
After her father passed away, her father left nothing but house for her. ”Now she too would know the old thrill and old despair of a penny more or less”. ( The Norton introduction to literature. W. W Norton & Company, Inc. p. 393) Although villager apparently sympathize for her sadness, they said she can finally realize how tough they were. It is normal that we would admire who is high social status. But sometimes it turns to envy. And we may make ill of someone which called” Sour Grapes”. Of course, a woman lived in mansion, have nice upbringing would becomes everyone’s model.
Nevertheless, her arrogance didn’t win villager’s respect. From many dimension we could probably realize what kind of person Emily is. For example, when authority asked her to pay for the taxes. The officer came to her house. Explained that she have to pay the tax. Yet she didn’t believe what government officer said. ”I received a paper, yes. I have no taxes in Jefferson”. (The Norton introduction to literature. W. W Norton & Company, Inc. p. 392) She was confident and firm about her position. She may be the last one who will yield to the world. She definitely alienate from the community.
Because the person gave her promise that Emily didn’t have to pay the tax was old mayor. But mayor have passes away at least for ten years. However; Miss Emily had not any idea about mayor’s death. Mayor no doubt is important figure in town. How could a resident live in these community without knowing any information. Thus, we can said either Emily hadn’t interact with world or she didn’t care about anybody in town. She was such a solitary and autistic old lady. Never expect for others assistance or sympathy.
That may be one reason why the town’s people called her ”poor Emily”. She never cringes, she never begs for sympathy, she refuses to shrink into amiable old maid, she never accepts the community ‘s ordinary judgments or values”. (Cleanth Brooks JR. and Robert Penn Warren. ” An Interpretation of ‘A Rose For Emily’” Understanding Fiction. 2nd edition. New York: Appleton-Century Crofts. 1959. in Inge 25-29) When Emily’s beloved father dead, she didn’t recognize about his death and withdraw into her regret. “After her father’s death she went out very little; after her sweetheart went away, people hardly saw her at all.
A few of ladies had the temerity to call, but were not received”. (The Norton introduction to literature. W. W Norton & Company, Inc. p. 392) She may seems to be a strong and independent. But in some way, she was definitely broke down. She was overwhelmed by her sorrow and tried to get away from the reality. “It is story of Emily’s passage from the normal time-world to a world in which she denied Time, even to the point of ignoring Death”. (Ray B. West JR. “Faulkner’s ‘A Rose For Emily’ “Explicator7 (Oct. 1978) p36-37”)
Emily was too upset to concede his death. 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”. (The Norton introduction to literature. W. W Norton & Company, Inc. p. 393) In addition, she wanted to cherish the memory of her father in psychological, even his body in physically forever. This idea was obsessed her and turned an old woman into madness. On the ending of this novel which was also the most impressing part. When people get into that unknown and dusty room haven’t be opened for forty years.
Ther were unbelievable to discover a skeleton on the bed which belongs to Homer. “What was left of him, rotted beneath what was left of the night-shirt, had become in extricable from the bed in which he lay”. (The Norton introduction to literature. W. W Norton & Company, Inc. p. 397) Every odd plots was being explained by itself. Why do an old lady buy arsenic in drugstore using for and without saying her intention or even angry about druggist poke his nose into this action. It also described why caused that stingy smell after two years of her father’s death. She did that for three days,…….. ,trying to persuade her to let them dispose of the body”. (The Norton introduction to literature. W. W Norton & Company, Inc. p. 393) She can’t discriminate the death and live. She tried to keep her father in the house as usual.
The same as Homer’s corpse, she killed him but still lain on the bed with a cold corpse. ”The body had apparently once lain in the attitude of an embrace, but now the long sleep that outlast love”. (The Norton introduction to literature. W. W Norton & Company, Inc. p. 97) “The ending of the story emphasizes the length of time Miss Emily must have slept with her dead lover, necrophilia — an erotic or sexual attraction to corpses”(http://www. cliffsnotes. com/study_guide/literature/faulk ner-short-stories/summary-analysis-a-rose-for-emily/introduction. html). Miss Emily’s necrophilia is a metaphor of her refusal to change. She was not affordable to her beloved man’s leave—her father and lover.
The motivation to murder Homer is that she did not want Homer leaved her after finished his job in town. And her murder of the new order, Homer Barron, is the reverse of what actually happened, the destruction of the old order by new”. (William Van O’Connor “From state of Faulkner Criticism” The Sewanee Review 60. 1(winter 1952) p. 180-185) Character of Emily was the symbol to the past and tradition, such as her china-painting class. But afterward, it was out of fashion, the children in town no longer take her art lesson. This was a metaphor to the generation change. Emily was old time and being deserted by the new era. What makes Emily’s madness? We may say it was her love to her father caused.
Mr. Grierson was strict to her. Do not allow she pursue her love. She may be hurt but still love her father. Her “Electra Complex” was reflected to Homer. Emily lost her father before. When Homer was going to leave, the way to keep him forever was to kill Homer. Both of the memories about two men had mistaken her what is illusion and the real world. To sum up, although when she tried to buy arsenic, everyone speculate she was going to commit suicide. It was a metaphor that what made her crazy is not herself, yet the whole environment in that conservative society and the generation gap.
Courtney from Study Moose
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