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A Rose for Emily by Faulkner is a Conventional Freudian Description of Incest and Necrophilia


A Rose for Emily

A Rose for Emily by Faulkner is a conventional Freudian description of incest and necrophilia. The incestuous relation between Emily and her father had enduring influence on the future life of Emily. Her dad’s motive to indulge her in presumed incestuous relationship is thought about a protective tool.

In order to secure Emily’s inviolability from future potential suitors, he needs to turn versus her, uninformed of the effects on the psychological and psychological life of Emily.

Freud asserted that sexual repression causes mental abnormality. Emily’s overprotective and prideful dad deprives her of a normal liaison with the opposite sex by repeling any possible mates. So rejection of a typical relationship and incestuous relationship with her dad makes her an introvert and outcast for society.

She takes haven in privacy. Since her relation with father was so intimate, her aberration at the death of her father is a natural phenomenon. She refutes his death and keeps his dead body. Later in the story, she wants to develop a regular mundane life, when she enabled the children to come in to her home for painting and herself extended her relation with Homer.

However once again social actors stay a barrier in her method. Definitely, the writer proposes that Homer himself may not precisely be passionate about weding Emily. Lastly, Emily’s poisoning Homer can be taken as necrophilic act as she waited for the body to disintegrate before backing her oedipal fantasy.

The discovery of a hair of her hair on the pillow beside the decaying corpse suggests that she slept with the cadaver or, even worse, made love with it. In the fantasy of necrophilism, she might have played the envisioned coitus with her father. Emily’s repressive life therefore adds to her mental abnormality: necrophilia. Even if she commits a horrible criminal activity, Faulkner portrays Emily as a victim of her circumstance.


Faulkner, William; contributing editor, Noel Polk. An increased for Emily. The Harcourt Brace casebook series in literature. Fort Worth: Harcourt College Publishers, 2000.

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