“A Rose for Emily”
Prof. Elise Denbo
“A Rose for Emily”
To many resistance to change is the underlying theme of American author William Faulkner’s short story entitled “A Rose for Emily”. To others, resistance to change merely did not exist at all, Tyriese Simone states “the main idea of Emily was to show the willingness to change, changes brought on by the post-Civil war, death, change in society and loss of wealth”. Upon review, the real theme of this story is the resistance to change yes, but especially when it comes to adults modeling their relationship’s base on the relationship that they had with a parent of the opposite sex. Faulkner himself stated ...view middle of the document...
When houses was built “white…decorated with cupolas and spires and scrolled balconies in the heavily lightsome style of the seventies” (Pp.404). During this period it is fair to say that women really had no rights, men did. Emily represent a sheltered girl. She had no mother figure in her life, she only had a father. Her father isolating her in order to protect her and teach her traditional ways he best considered fit. According to Simone “the father plays no significant role in her life, he is of no importance than the adding of a character”. To understand Emily, we have to understand and take into consideration where she is from and from whom she is from. From what Faulkner’s given us, we can come to the conclusion that the father plays a significant if not an influential role in her life. With no mother around he have been shaping her in his image since she was a child. He was all she had, no else, all her attachment was to him. Faulkner states “Miss Emily a slender figure in white in the background, her father a spraddled silhouette in the foreground, his back to her and clutching a horsewhip” (Pp.406). This signifies great imagery and illustrates the control he held over his Emily and how much he had her up on a pedestal. It show the true relationship between both father and daughter, she in white so innocent and beautiful, with him her protector in front so strict and firm.
With an idea of the relationship, it is now accurate to state that Emily greatly illustrates the well-known psychoanalytic premises that adults tend to model their relationships on the relationship that they had with a parent of the opposite sex. Emily clearly proves that when it came to her father, who she showed great oedipal attachment towards. As stated above, Emily was from a family once of stature and wealth. It is fair to say she was burdened with great expectation that others had of her from present and past generations. In her little community in Jefferson she was viewed as “hereditary obligation” to maintain certain traditions and her father charged with transmitting these traditions and values to her. He was firm in reinforcing these expectations. He was a man who had “thwarted her woman’s life so many times” (Pp.406). Like most fathers he wanted to protect his little girl, but by doing so he not only sheltered her, he kept her isolated which led her to have social, mental and emotional issues. Faulkner states “We remembered all the young men her father had driven away, and we knew with nothing left, she would have to cling to that which had robbed her, as people will.” (Pp.406). He goes as far as to driving all Emily’s suitors away because none were perceived decent enough for her.
Emily's oedipal attachment to her father is the underlying cause of a mental issues, fear of abandonment and of intimacy, which lead to disastrous action in her relationship with both Homer and the community. In regards to Simone, “Emily is a product of her environment. Her...