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Losing a loved one is a sad experience. For some, it can be traumatic, making them feel like the world is closing on its end. For others, it can be alarming, impelling them to do an act to prevent another loss. In Faulkner’s A Rose for Emily, the main character experiences the trauma of losing a loved one, which compels her to do a crime to prevent another loss. Like a plant that loses its roots, she loses the power to live when her father dies, and later shows giving up sanity to reclaim power over her loved one.
“Miss Emily had been a tradition, a duty, and a care. ” This revelation from the narrator tells readers the way the people regard Miss Emily and her father. Being the daughter of the only doctor in their place, Miss Emily receives much respect and recognition from the townspeople. Throughout her life, her father serves as her light and life, that without him, she struggles in the dark, powerless, hopeless, unable to protect herself from getting hurt.
Threatened that along with the loss of her father is the loss of empathy of the people around her, she suddenly seizes power to control her fate. From the powerless woman that hides behind her father’s figure, she emerges as a powerful woman who controls her life and the people around her. The death of Homer Baron in the hands of Miss Emily illustrates the woman’s power over the man. In addition, the investigators’ neighbors’ failure to search the Griersons’ house for the thing that stinks shows the woman’s power in her society.
Moreover, the neighborhood’s inability to at least question Miss Emily directly about the fouls smell in her house demonstrates the control she has over them. Living a life full of lies, people like Miss Emily must struggle a lot to cover up their crime. For this reason, one cannot say that Miss Emily’s power over society is enough to consider her a powerful person. Real power rests from within. Buscaglia (n. d. ) once said, “It is the weak who are cruel; gentleness can only be expected from the strong.
” Therefore, despite her courage to cover up her crime and to sleep with the dead, one cannot say that Miss Emily is really powerful. As often said, the courage to live in truth and face struggles is the real test of inner strength. Work Cited Buscaglia, Alex. “Buscaglia Quotes. ” N. d. 17 July 2009 <http://thinkexist. com/quotation/only_the_weak_are_cruel-gentleness_can_only_be/11370. html>. Faulkner, William. “A Rose for Emily. ” N. d. 17 July 2009 <http://www. rose-for-emily. com/>.