William Faulkner’s A Rose for Emily” tells the story of a young woman who is violated by her father’s strict mentality.
After being the only man in her life, Emily’s father dies and she finds it hard to let go. Like her father, Emily possesses a stubborn outlook towards life, and she refuses to change. While having this attitude about life, Emily practically secluded herself from society for the remainder of her life. She was alone for the very first time and her reaction to this situation was solitude. This story takes place throughout the Reconstruction Era from the late 1800s to the early 1900s in Jefferson, Mississippi.
Emily was raised in the period before the Civil War. Her father, who was the only person in her life, with the exception of a former lover who soon left her as well, raised her. The plot of this story is mainly about Miss Emily’s attitude about change. While growing up, Emily was raised in a comfortable environment because her father possessed a lot of money.
Considering that her father was a very wealthy person who occasionally loaned the town money, Emily had everything a child could want. However, this caused Emily to be very spoiled and selfish, and she never knew the value of a dollar until her father left her with nothing but a run-down home that started to decay over time. She began to ignore the surrounding decay of the house and her appearance. These lies continued as she denied her father’s death, refused to pay taxes, ignored town gossip about her being a fallen woman, and did not tell the druggist why she purchased rat poison. Her life, like the decaying house, suffered from a lack of genuine love and care. Her physical appearance is a result of years of neglect.
As time went on, pieces of Emily started to drift away, as did the home to which she confined herself. The town grew sympathetic towards Emily, although she never heard it. She was slightly aware of the faint whispers that began when she was near. Gossip and whispers may have been the cause of her hideous behavior.
The town couldn’t wait to pity Ms. Emily because of the way she looked down on people. She was born with a silver spoon in her mouth and never thought she would be alone after her father left her. Miss Emily might have stayed out of the public eye after the two deaths because she was finally alone, something she was not used to in her petty life. Emily’s father never left her alone, and when he died, Homer Barron was a treat that she was never allowed to have. He later died, leaving her completely alone.
After her father’s death, she went out very little. After her sweetheart went away, people hardly saw her at all. She isolated herself from civilization and used her butler, Tobe, to run her errands. Miss Emily could not accept the fact that times were changing and society was growing. Maybe she was shy about her old-fashioned beliefs. If no one observed her, then no one could force her to change. Emily had been through much and had seen many generations grow before and around her.
This brings reason to her strong Confederate beliefs. Miss Emily refused to allow modern change into her depressed life. For example, she refused to let the newer generation fasten metal numbers above her door and attach a mailbox when Jefferson got free mail service. This reflects Emily’s stubborn persona caused by her father’s treatment when she was young. A Rose for Emily” is told through the eyes of the townspeople.
William Faulkner expressed many of the residents’ opinions about Emily and her family’s history. He mentioned Old Lady Wyatt, her great aunt who had gone completely mad.