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A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner - Essay Example

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A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner

"When one lives his/her life in the public eye it is often difficult to live up to everyone's expectations. These repressions often lead these people to use radical methods to fulfill their own needs." (Critical Essay). Thus, the short story by Faulkner portrays the idea that society's view on a 'celebrity' cannot only be powerful but also destructive and urges the readers not to depend too much on the public perspectives on personal lives as well as not to live according to the expectations of others.
In the short story "A Rose for Emily", Miss Emily Grierson is presented as the socialite of her town and she naturally has an important social status or reputation she has to withhold. One of the main themes of the story is the effect of society on one's personal life and the story of Emily Grierson illustrates how people are made to use radical methods to fulfill their own needs in a society which expects its members to live according to a particular way. Emily in the story represents her family name as well as the people of her town and she was greatly a dominant figure in the society. ...
uty, and a care; a sort of hereditary obligation upon the town, dating from that day in 1894 when Colonel Sartoris, the mayor--he who fathered the edict that no Negro woman should appear on the streets without an apron--remitted her taxes, the dispensation dating from the death of her father on into perpetuity." (Faulkner, 2003, p. 392). Therefore, the society expects the main character to live according to a particular way which has been set by the tradition and the main reason for her mental torment has been her adjustment to the norms of social life.
It is most fundamental, in a close reading of "A Rose for Emily", to realize that Faulkner describes a mental illness in the protagonist, i.e. necrophilia, which may be comprehended as an abnormal and excessive love for a dead human body. Psychologists explain that it is caused by a cumulative lack of love from one's family or community. "One of Faulkner's greatest stories, "A Rose for Emily" is a brilliantly wrought, emotionally charged, haunting portrait of the Southern psyche - a psyche tormented by conflicting feelings, impulses, and needs. It is the first story to deal with the village of Jefferson and its community." (Volpe, 2004, p. 98). In the story, Emily, the main character, murders Humor, the only man whom she had ever loved. In fact, the story deals mainly with the psyche of the main character who is conflicted by conflicting feelings, impulses, and needs, and the author is concerned with the relationship between individuals and community. ""A Rose for Emily" has two major characters: Emily Grierson and the community. They are complementary rather than antagonistic characters; Emily's personal history mirrors the community's collective history Faulkner portrays Emily with sufficient psychological realism to ...Show more


Literature has a pivotal role in the progress and improvement of human life in the world and literary pieces offer fabulous lessons for human life, along with aesthetic experiences. One of the most essential illustrations of the instructive function of literary works is the celebrated short story "A Rose for Emily" by the American author William Faulkner…
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A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner essay example
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