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The Long Life Story of Emily Grierson in A Rose for Emily, a Short Story by William Faulkner

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In Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily”, the narrator informs the story of Emily Grierson, a lady who lived an extremely long life and was understood to everyone throughout the town. The story likewise tells the reader of Emily’s mental deterioration as time goes on was not known or acknowledged by the townspeople. Mental illness, particularly in the South, was masked by eccentricities and a tolerant attitude towards those who were socially think about high class (Phelan 188).

The first part of this narrative describes Ms. Emily Grierson as a popular female in the town, mainly since she had been around for so long. “When Miss Emily Grierson died our entire town went to her funeral service: the guys went through a sort of respectful love for a fallen monolith, the ladies mainly out of curiosity to see the within her home, which nobody had actually seen save an old man-servant-had seen in the last 10 years” (Faulkner 299). In the story, she was tax exempt by Colonel Sartoris after the death of her father in the year 1894. There was no written record of this nevertheless, and the newer generation of elected officials tried to send her a notification that her taxes were due. The first indication we see of her mental disorder comes when the city authorities show up to collect her taxes, and she repeatedly states that they need to see Colonel Sartoris, who at that time had actually been dead for nearly a decade. For Emily, the passage of time does not appear to matter at all as she has spent many years of her life hidden away in her home.

Sequel takes place around two years after Emily’s father passed away, and just a brief time after she was deserted by her would be husband. At this point in the story we see additional wear and tear of Emily’s mental state as she is rarely seen outside of her house. “After her father’s death she went out extremely little; after her sweetie went away, people hardly saw her at all” (Faulkner 301). As time passes a horrible odor starts to be given off from Emily’s house. Many of the people grumbled about it. Eventually Judge Stevens says he declines to accuse a girl of smelling bad, so 4 men snuck onto Emily’s home at night and sprayed lime around your home to avoid the foul smell. The reader later on finds out that Emily had actually pretended everything was normal, as if her daddy hadn’t craved 3 days prior to she finally enabled the body might be dealt with. The reader then understands that if the odor wasn’t originating from her father where could it be originating from? Nobody in the town believed she was having serious mental health issues; They thought it was her father had repelled many males from her and appeared to be overprotective. “We remembered all the males her father had actually driven away, and we understood that with absolutely nothing left, she would hold on to that which had robbed her, as people will” (Faulkner 302).

During part three of the story, Emily was sick for a long period of time and makes a reappearance with short hair making her look tragic and tranquil (Faulkner 302). The town had actually employed specialists to repair the pathways. Homer Barron, the supervisor of the labor operation, soon became a favored male around town, as he appeared to bring laughter to everyone. Quickly after entering town, he was seen riding around with Miss Emily in a buggy. Everyone in the town seemed delighted that she had actually discovered someone to make her happy at last. Much of the older individuals in the town recalled that nobody had actually concerned her daddy’s funeral and pitied Emily, about what had happened and how she had responded to her daddy’s death. This additional proves that mental illness was not something spoke about in the open throughout this time. At the end of this part of the story the reader discovers Emily at the drug shop for rat toxin.

In part four, individuals of the town began to believe that Emily is going to commit suicide because Homer Barron, was homosexual and was often seen drinking with more youthful males at the Elks club in the area. The girls of the town eventually required a Baptist minister to call upon Emily. The locals of the town were sure there would be a wedding now, as Emily had actually purchased men’s toiletries and gifts from the jewelry expert. After this, Miss Emily seems to establish severe agoraphobia; the fear of leaving one’s house, and is just seen in windows, having grown overweight and grey. The only person who reoccured from the home was the servant. She continued to get tax notices that stayed unclaimed. At this moment, Emily has actually entirely lost her mind, “She was only periodically seen in the downstairs window checking out individuals” (Faulkner 305).

The last part of the story takes the reader to the opening of Emily’s home after over ten years of only the servant being within. After the servant opened the house, he was never seen or heard from again. He just escaped indicating that he felt pity for what he had actually been hiding for all the years he had worked for Emily. He likewise might have left for worry of being blamed for the murder of Homer Barron, since as previously specified mental disorder in the early 1900’s was extremely taboo, especially for a woman. The space above the stairs in Emily’s house, was a very mysterious location for the townsfolk as is had not been opened in over forty years. The space was furnished as a bridal suite, and inside the toiletries of Homer Barron laid near a folded match and shoes. The townspeople then found Homer Barron’s body lying in the bed rotted to the point where he couldn’t be removed from the mattress, “The male himself lay in the bed” (Faulkner 306). Beside him, on the recently laid upon pillow was an iron gray hair. This is the final showing of Miss Emily’s health problem; she appears to have suffered from deceptions and agoraphobia, as she invested forty years sleeping next to a man that she had actually eliminated.

After reading this story carefully the reader concerns understand, that while the private occasions on their own do not appear to uncommon, looking at the big picture with all the occasions in order we see the sluggish progression of Miss Emily towards a total psychological breakdown.

Composing Process Summation

I chose this short story, because I felt it was the easiest for me to comprehend. I got to my understanding of the story after reading it a couple of times. I understood that the story seemed to be about the decrease of Miss Emily’s mental health. I made the points that mental illnesses and degeneration were widely ignored and feared in the early 1900’s. I revised the thesis of my essay to be more conclusive. I want the reader to see that psychological problems were not constantly as widely accepted as they are today. While there are still problems with accepting them, people seem even more tolerant now than in the past.

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