An Analysis Of Miss Emily Essay, Research Paper
Emily s life is wrecked from the beginning, because of her duty to obey her father, and her father s will that she remains isolated from society. When Miss Emily is young, her father denies her the freedom to have a normal social life. She wears white dresses, which symbolize innocence, but she begins to wear black clothes after her father s death. The color black suggests that she has lost her innocence, but she still looks like a girl even after her father s dies: her hair was cut short, making her look like a girl, with a vague resemblance to those angels in colored church windows — a sort of tragic and serene (Faulkner 505). After Miss Emily father s dies, she changes her hairstyle and the townspeople say she is sort of angelic. She must believe that she is finally free of her father s control, because she do not get her hair cut when her father still alive to sway her. She wants to do what she wants. A few years later, her hair turns iron-gray. At this time, the readers know that she does not care what she looks like and that the iron is a strong element, and it symbolizes her strong will.Emily s father never let her alone and he keeps Emily at home with him. Because of his selfishness, he isolates her from the rest of society, separating Emily from other girls of her age, denying her the joy and pleasures experienced by most of her peers. After her father drive away lots of young men and then dies, her motivation for killing Homer Barron is to keep him with her forever because Homer decides to leave her. Based on her father s influence on her, she feels that it is wrong for Homer to want to do what he wants. Her murder of Homer symbolizes that she has become like her father. He denies her freedom of choice, and she denies Homer the freedom to leave. Even after her father dies, he continues to influence her behaviors. The townspeople recognize his influence by putting Emily s crayon portrait of him above the bier (Faulkner, 508) at her funeral. Miss Emily s stubborn attitude definitely comes from her father s strict teaching. No one can observe her and no one can force her to change. She lives all alone with only a servant for company, and then she dies at the age of 74: She died in one of the downstairs rooms, in a heavy walnut bed with a curtain, her gray head propped on a pillow yellow and moldy with age and lack of sunlight (Norton, 508). Her death is very sad because no one is with her when she dies. When Miss Emily dies, Jefferson loses a monument of the Old South because she is the townspeople s link with their past.
Miss Emily cannot accept the fact that times are changing and society is growing. She refuses to allow modern change into her desolate life. For example, she refuses to let the newer generation fasten metal numbers above the door and attach a mailbox (Faulkner 508) when Jefferson gets free mail service. This refusal reflects Miss Emily s unyielding personality caused by her father s treatment when she is young. She isolates herself from society, and she also declares that she has no taxes in Jefferson because she refuses to recognize the death of Colonel Sartoris. Moreover, she also refuses to acknowledge the death of her father. In her mind, she lives in the past, which is the world of tradition. The townspeople view Miss Emily as a monument (Faulkner 502) to this world and think of her as a tradition, a duty, and a care (Faulkner 503). In contrast, Homer Barron lives in the present and is part of the modern generation. He is ready to take pleasure and depart, as if tradition and the world of the past have no power over him. However, Miss Emily s whole life demonstrates the power of the past. In the form of her father s influence, the past controls her actions in the present. His strict up bringing of her never gives her a chance to lead a normal life. She becomes a woman who cannot let go of her past.