A Rose For Emily : Blinded Expectations

1013 words - 5 pages

Blinded Expectation
Throughout time, society continues to play a role in the development of culture and its ability to encourage or suffocate individual growth. A character’s progression is measured by the era in which they live in and what is considered acceptable and inappropriate. In William Faulkner’s short story “A Rose for Emily”, the setting revolves around a post-Civil War period in which society sets a high standard for appropriate behavior. The main character, Miss Emily
Grierson, is constantly judged by the townspeople for her public and private existence. Because society has a high expectation for what is acceptable, it threatens the main character’s independent and causes ...view middle of the document...

Because of her relationship with her father, she grew a sense of attachment to the men in her life. The narrator stated that “Miss Emily met them at the door, dressed as usual and with no trace of grief on her face. She told them that her father was not dead. She did that for three days” (Faulkner 159). She did not want to let the town dispose of her father’s body; she wanted to keep it to herself. The fact that the town accepted it can be argued that they knew of her psychological state of mind. The narrator also mentions that “we believed she had to do that” (Faulkner 159). Laura Getty analyzed the situation and pushed the idea further. She believed that the town, because of her history, even knew she kept Homer Barron’s body upstairs. Getty states “the fact that certain people in town knew that Homer was in the upstairs room argues a similar recognition of Emily’s need to cling to Homer as she had tried to cling to her father” (232). It can be argued that they knew of Homer, but continue to allow Emily to continue with her actions. Elizabeth Kurtz comments on Emily’s state of mind when she said “her eventual realization that Homer is “not a marrying man” is the shock that destroys her fragile emotional equilibrium” (40). The constant social pressure and a combination of mental instability caused Emily to conflict with herself and lead her to isolate herself.
There is still the issue of secrecy between the townspeople and Miss Emily. All the characters that come in contact with Emily behind closed doors refuses to admit or speak of what they heard or saw. When the Baptist minister went to visit Miss Emily, the narrator states that “”he would never divulge what happened during that interview, but he refused to go back again” (Faulkner 161). This reaction can be argued the minister saw something, or Emily spoke of something that startled him. However because of...

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