Type: Literary Analysis
Pages: 3 | Words: 609
Reading Time: 3 Minutes

A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner gives the impression of a story written in the eighteenth century. The traditional symbolism of Faulkner creates a cozy atmosphere in which the reader is wrapped up in a story that can be interpreted from different perspectives. One can view it as a detective story, a love story, or a story about prejudice and pressure of traditions. Depending on that choice of genre, one can draw a conclusion on the reasons of murdering one of the main characters, Homer Barron.

To my mind, Emily Grierson killed Homer not to let him go. It was a murder out of great love and fear of changes. She was phobic and frustrated, seeing even minor developments in herself, her life, or surroundings. She was affected with emotional disorder and even refused to have a mailbox and number on her house. Her top priority was maintaining traditions and holding on to the past, even if that was a dead lover, rotten in her bed under the coating of dust. It is sad as a mere presence of a body does not make a woman happy. She needs warmth, care, affection, and reciprocity.

Homer Barron can also be associated with a kind of rebellion and changes that Emily was so much afraid of. This murder was a resistance to change. He was posing a threat to her crusted habits and way of life. Emily herself was a personification of the old South values. The community seemed to be well aware of Emily’s guilt, but they did not accuse her. They became her accessories, though the main blame rested on her. She lived in isolation till her dying day not to put the security of others at hazard.

This crime can be considered as an intentional homicide, since she went to the store to buy some arsenic, and nothing could put a damper on her parade. She wanted neither to lose her lover nor to be different from other society members. She kept the murder a secret, and the community pretended to be absolutely unaware of the crime. They knew that Homer had spent the last hours of his life in Emily’s house, or that it was she who had purchased the poison. They did not suspect anything even smelling the stench. So, a parallel can be drawn between Emily, who refused to acknowledge her father’s death, and the townspeople, who kept looking the other way. That makes the society culpable for Homer’s murder as well.

Emily’s father also had responsibility for the crime his daughter committed. He had kept her single until she was thirty because there were no men to be a match for her. They were not very close emotionally, but Emily idealized the men she loved. She lost her dad, and she could not let the other man, so dear to her, leave her. She was terribly lonely and desperate for companionship. Besides, that was the time of total control of men over women. Emily was dependent on her father even in terms of her marriage. Killing Homer was a way to keep him and show her control over a man and her life in general.

William Faulkner provides only some clues but no clear explanation why Emily killed her lover. He hints that inhuman attitude of the relatives or the society can result in cruelty. Besides, physiological problems of an unmarried woman, her pain, loneliness, and desire for love were those motives which actuated her. Every person is a complex world; thus, it is impossible to determine the exact reason for every action. The final decision is always made on the basis of all the factors taken together.

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