A Rose for Emily
“When Miss Emily Grierson died, our whole town went to her funeral.” Miss Emily was both a tradition and an obligation of the town. When her father was alive, he sheltered her from relationships and hardship. After his death however, Emily was left with hardly any money, save for a crumbling manor and no relationships in sight –she was thirty at the time. Later, a Yankee named Homer Baron came to town for a job. They (Emily and Homer) started seeing each other every Sunday. However, this relationship didn’t last as Homer preferred the company of men and did not want to settle down. One day, Homer went to Emily’s house, never to be seen again. It is later revealed that Emily had killed Homer to keep him with her. The two prominent themes in this short story by William Faulkner are Social Status and Reluctance to Deal with Change. Social Status is seen multiple times in the short story. Emily, being a Grierson, had acted high and noble in the town. As a result of this disconnection, the townsfolk gossiped about her private life. The ladies of the town gossiped about her relationship with Homer Baron. “Of course a Grierson would not think seriously of a Northerner, a day laborer.” The talk of the town had been of Emily and Homer. Her once strong yet now weakened social status, as her manor crumbled and her money vanished, became the talk of the town. Even when she bought poison, which was later used to kill Homer, she was able to bypass regular checks such as telling the store clerk what she needed the poison for. The theme, “Reluctance to Deal with Change”, can be seen multiple times. When Miss Emily Grierson died at the old age of 74, many things and changes had happened in her life. Emily clings to the past –however, this isn’t just the six-year olds teddy-bear-being-taken-away scenario. Her overblown resistance to change was ultimately revealed after her death with the discovery of the decaying body of Homer Baron. The denial of death of...
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