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A Rose for Emily – Poem Interpretation Essay

The novel of William Faulkner ‘A Rose for Emily’ recounts a part of the past in the life of Miss Emily Grierson and the society in a town of Jefferson after the Civil War. We can watch the intriguing story of a young woman when she is changing from nice and likable young lady to a hermit-like individual, a burden and nuisance for the people and authority of the town. She lived in a gorgeous but rundown house without any major ‘troubles’, like paying taxes for example, which was settled (established?) in 1894 with the Mayor, when she couldn’t afford it. When the change in the office came the tax collectors started asking her to pay the debt to no avail. There was a ‘silent war’ going on for years between Emily and the town people until she fully retreated to her house after the death of her father.

There is a short time of romance when Emily met a man and the fear of being abandoned made her crazy to a point where she tried to ‘keep’ him for herself ‘with the little help’ of arsenic. This was the last time he was seen alive. People suspected something bad happened but with no evidence there was nothing they could do about it. Only after her death they entered one of the rooms on the second floor and discovered what took place 40 years earlier. Her lover was ‘asleep’ in a bed, still in nightclothes.

Next to him, on the pillow, Emily’s strand of hair. The author tries to go deeper into dark, psychological side of American Goth, going away from its basic ideas like haunted houses, castles, deaths, ailments (diseases), madness, curse, etc. The end of the novel is startling, giving a reader quite a criminal case sample, where the guilty got away with the crime. The question “Is it possible to commit a crime with no consequences?” lingers in the air. According to the author apparently yes. In his times. It is doubtful that an incident like that could happen in present times, however we still have shocking stories in the news that occur every day and still cannot believe how human mind can lead a person to do heinous crimes.


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