A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner Analysis

A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner

Inability to change or accept it is an aspect that is witnessed quite often in the story “A Rose for Emily.” It is first seen after Emily’s father passes on and she is in a state of denial. Mr. Grierson was the most important person in her life as he was the one that provided, cared and protected her. When the death of her father is mentioned by the town’s people,” she told them that her father was not dead (Faulkner 4).” Emily did this for about three days before allowing her father to be buried. Although she knew Mr. Grierson was no more she chose not to believe so. The act of Emily clinging to her dead father for three days shows her refusal to accept change. After the passing on of her father, Emily presumed change to always be a loss. She must have feared how her life would be now that she did not have anyone to tell her what to do or how to think. Most people find themselves in the same position as Emily. In that, they are used to depending on someone and when that someone is no longer available adjusting becomes almost impossible. Especially with the current economic and political situation in the United States youths are afraid of living independently. Though some are of age and should change their way of life fear of how things might go for them makes them reluctant to build themselves.

In the story by Faulkner, Emily refuses to pay taxes claiming that she is exempted from that by Colonel Sartoris. Shockingly the Colonel was long dead and now the town was under a new reign. Here again, Emily did not accept the passing of time. Initially, such matters as paying the tax were handled by Mr. Grierson. It is therefore likely that Emily did not want to start sorting the duty because it would imply that she has accepted her father died and is ready to carry on with life. The town is trying to makes changes such as hiring contractors to pave the sidewalks which would have required funds from residents. But since Emily hardly goes out of her house she cannot see the essence of such a project. In contemporary society, some individuals refuse to keep up with the changing times. For instance, if the government presents a project that is meant to improve the living standard of citizens and they are asked to increase their taxes by a small amount, there is a percentage of people who would oppose. Although change is not easy it is wise to be flexible and adjustable when it is necessary.

Student’s S response

I agree with student S that past events in Emily’s life affected her and she refused to come to her sense about the truth. After the passing of her father she gets attached to Homer and believes they will get married. Emily still insists on marriage even after confirming that Homer did not have such plans in mind. The student is also right in saying that the Grierson’s house was a physical reminder of Miss Emily denial to change.

Student’s D response

The inability to change is depicted by the main character as he wants her lifestyle to continue being exactly as it was while her father was alive. Her tax issues were taken care of by Colonel Sartoris. After his passing Emily was supposed to start paying the taxes but she does not. I concur with student D that the town was constantly changing while Emily was strongly resistant to change.

Works Cited

Faulkner, William. A Rose for Emily. Merrill Publishing Company, 1970. Accessed 1 Sept. 2019.

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