Hit enter after type your search item

A Critique of Emily Grierson in A Rose for Emily, A Short Story by William Faulkner


Environmental factors play a significant role in how a person grows and establishes. These situations can either favorably or adversely affect someone. Emily Grierson’s failure to change is an ideal example of what might occur if a person is brought up in a toxic environment. In the story “A Rose for Emily,” by William Faulkner, the storyteller offers hints to the reader that Miss Emily was raised in an environment that resulted in her failure to acknowledge change.

The very first instance that depicts this fact is when members of the younger generation pay Miss Emily a check out. The young men saw Miss Emily as “A small, fat lady in black, with a thin gold chain coming down to her waist and vanishing into her belt … Then they could hear the undetectable watch ticking at the end of the gold chain.” (Pg. 34) The watch hidden inside her belt symbolizes that she is running out of time. Life has just been passing her by without her realizing it. The sound of the unnoticeable ticking highlights that she is unable to acknowledge time while everyone else can. Miss Emily also “Looked bloated, like a body long immersed in still water. (Pg. 34) This defines her as someone drowning in time. She is trapped without any control over herself and her environments.

Another example of Miss Emily not having the ability to recognize modification is her reaction to the death of her dad. “After his death, all the ladies prepared to call your home and deal acknowledgement … Miss Emily met them at the door … without any trace of grief on her face … She informed them that her dad was not dead … She did that for three days.” (Pg.36) She uses denial as a coping system. Her daddy’s death was the first time she experienced modification. People began to see her as someone on their level. She rapidly went from being an essential person with high social status to having definitely nothing. Since her daddy chased away all her possible suitors, she was now alone, desperate, and with no earnings. The reality of the situation was excessive for Miss Emily to mentally deal with. Her being in rejection was the only method avoiding her insanity. She had no choice however to “cling to that in which that robbed her.” (Pg. 36) If it were not for the ministers and physicians pursuing her to provide the remains, Mr. Grierson’s body would have never ever left your house.

The last and most disturbing circumstances is what was found in Miss Emily’s house after her death. “The man himself lay in bed … looking down at the extensive and fleshless smile … the body had obviously when lain in the attitude of an accept … what was left of him, rotted … in the 2nd pillow … we saw a long hair of iron-gray hair.” (Pg. 39-40) Miss Emily has been practicing necrophilia with the corpse of Homer Barron for several years. Homer Barron was Miss Emily’s very first and only love interest. He contrasts significantly with her dad; who was described as cruel and managing. These characteristics reveal that he was not a loving or supportive dad. Shortly after meeting Barron, Miss Emily is portrayed by the town as “Fallen” (Pg. 37) This tells the reader that she had actually been deflowered by Barron. Making love with him provided her newly found feelings of love and intimacy. Considering that she did not surpass the injury of her dad’s death, Miss Emily felt that the only way to keep Barron by her side was to kill him. She might continue experiencing love and nearness with no worries. Necrophilies are generally managing to the point that they can not sustain a relationship with a living person. Miss Emily became a necrophilie since of her requirement for control. Due to her sensation trapped by her father and time, the only circumstances she felt any power is when she was with Barron’s remains. He would have eventually left her anyhow. When initially seeing Homer Barron, he was building the very first sidewalk in the area. This symbolizes modernization and development; qualities that highly vary with Miss Emily’s stagnancy. He was also depicted as “not a marrying guy.” (Pg. 37) Barron seemed to have no intention of marrying her and just showed desire when Miss Emily’s cousins pressured him.

In the story “A Rose for Emily,” by William Faulkner, the narrator offers clues to the reader that Miss Emily was brought up in an environment that led to her inability to recognize change. These clues consisted of the significance of the watch, Miss Emily’s reaction to her father’s death, and the practice of necrophilia. Miss Emily was mentally incapable of overcoming the injury of her past. Life is everything about recovery and growing to be the best version of one’s self. If generativity does not occur, then an individual will forever feel trapped and helpless; similar to Emily Grierson.

This div height required for enabling the sticky sidebar