A ROSE FOR EMILY

A ROSE FOR EMILY

William Faulkner’s short story “A Rose for Emily” is an intriguing story of a lady who gets away with murder in the South around the turn of the century. There are many different interpretations regarding the meaning of this story. These range from Ray West’s theory of Emily Grierson’s attempt to stop time to Jack Scherting’s suggestion that she suffers from an Oedipal complex (Blythe 192). In my analysis of Faulkner’s story, I will give several different interpretations written by different writers. Then I will explain which one I agree with the most and why. Celia Rodriguez believes that in “A Rose for Emily” the past is contrasted with the present era. The past is seen in Miss Emily, Colonel Sartoris, the old Negro servant, and the Board of Alderman. Emily’s suitor, the Yankee Homer Barron, the new Board of Alderman, and “the next generation with its more modern ideas” (Faulkner 178) represent the present (1). Emily lived completely in the past. She told the new Board of Alderman that Colonel Sartoris had explained to her that she had no taxes in Jefferson. Colonel Sartoris, however, had been dead for at least ten years. When Homer Barron tried to escape from her world into the new world, Emily murdered him to keep him in the past with her (2). Cleanth Brooks believes that Miss Emily’s actions are the result of her strong independence. She refuses to be criticized by the town when she gallivants around with Homer Barron. She refuses to be left by Barron, so she murders him. She refuses to pay taxes because the long dead Colonel Sartoris told her she was not obligated to (191). Brook’s admires Emily because she refused to conform to public opinion in a time when women were demanded to. Explains that the moral of the story is a warning against pride: “heroic isolation pushed too far ends in homicidal madness” (191). Hal Blythe provides a surprising motive for why Miss Emily Griers…


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