A Rose for Emily: William Faulkner
William Faulkner first published “A Rose for Emily” in 1930; however, this short story resides in a small southern town during the post-Civil War period. During this age in time, the Unites States was going through major political changes. But Ms. Emily was not ready for change. Faulkner uses repugnant imagery and a unique narration style to explore a woman’s inability to cope with death and change throughout the community and within herself (Perry 40).
Growing up in the Grierson family, Emily knew her family was powerful and popular, and she was fortunate enough to live surrounded by love and luxury. Emily’s father loved her dearly and only wanted the best for her, but most of the time he was a little over protective and perceived to control his daughter’s life. He felt as if no man could ever be good enough for his one and only. The Griersons were definitely different from every other household in the small southern town of Jefferson, and Emily’s father made sure everyone knew of this. Since Emily’s father was a tyrant throughout her life, she rarely got the chance to enjoy anything outside of the Grierson residence (Watkins 509). The early agony that Emily had to tolerate created a permanent emotional cripple to her life. Emily most likely did not have a concrete idea of how a real family should function and cooperate, especially with the absence of a mother figure. Other than the Grierson family servants, Emily lived isolated in her home with her father, until he passed away.
Upon her dictatorial father’s death, the town of Jefferson sustained the thought of Emily idolizing the Grierson family tradition. Faulkner states this at the beginning of the story when he says, “alive, Miss Emily had been a tradition, a duty, and a care; a sort of hereditary obligation upon the town” (Faulkner). Emily was a symbol for the old south and the way of life of these people. The way Faulkner...