, Research Paper
A Rose for Emily
William Faulkner wrote the short story A Rose for Emily . It was published in 1930. The story was set in the Deep South, Jefferson to be precise. The time period was from 1884 to 1920. Emily Grierson was the main character in the story. Faulkner uses characterization to revel the character of Emily, he expresses the content of her character through physical description, through her actions, words, and feelings, through a narrator s direct comments about the character s nature and through the actions, words, and feelings of other characters. In the story A Rose for Emily , the main conflict was an external one, it was Emily Grierson versus society.
The protagonist in the story was the town in which Emily lived in. Society expected her to behave in a certain way; like a lady because of the family background she came from. She apparently was raised in a wealthy family. The town saw Emily as a fallen monument after her death (414). When she was alive, the town thought of her as a tradition, a duty, and a care; a sort of hereditary obligation upon the town (414). The town had no chose but to deal with Emily. When the town started to change Emily refused to do so and it was apparent that the town saw her house as an eyesore among eyesores (414). The town was very interested in her relationship with Homer Barron a foreman that was working on the contract for paving the sidewalks in the town. They were pleased at first but later they kind of had mixed feelings saying that she as a Grierson would not think seriously of a Northerner, a day laborer (417).
Emily is the antagonist in the story, she is stuck in time, she absolutely refuses to change despite the fact that society was changing around her. She lives as a recluse for many years No visitor had passed since she ceased giving china painting lessons eight or then years ago (414). Emily removed herself from society through her actions after her father s death, she went out very little; after her sweetheart went away, people hardly saw her at all (415). After the death of her father, Emily s push against society was stronger than ever. This was evident with the tax situation, she did not want to pay her taxes because she had them remitted in the past and wasn t going to change that fact. When the town got free postal delivery, Miss Emily alone refused to let them fasten the metal numbers above her door and attach a mailbox to it (419). Emily had a lot of pride installed in her by the Grierson family she carried her head high enough even when even when we believe that she was fallen. It was as if she demanded more than ever the recognition of her dignity as the last Grierson (417).
Emily was against change; she represents the south s refusal to change. Society kept on changing around her but Emily died in her own secluded world. Throughout the story, Emily did not change in anyway; she stayed just as she was. At the end of the story it was apparent that she had killed Homer Barron most likely because he didn t want to get married to her. So, in an attempt to keep him with her forever, she poisoned him with some arsenic that she had purchased. She rathered he was dead but with her than alive without her.
Emily was very much in conflict with society through out the story and this was very evident. She wanted to remain the way she was. She wanted things to stay the way they were. Although Emily could not stop society around her from progressing, she was able to stop her own world from progressing. Society had no chose but to deal with Emily. Emily made a chose not to deal with society and that is what she did, she secluded herself from society no matter how much they tried to penetrate into her world, she didn t allow them to. All through her life, Emily was in conflict with society.