Summary of William Faulkner's Novel A Rose for Emily

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The story takes place in a made up city in Mississippi called Yoknapatawpha, Jefferson. In the story, A Rose for Emily, Emily,is from the south and dies at the age of 74 after being shut off from everyone. There’s two main themes in this story, isolation and also privacy. These go well with the story because her father tries to isolate her from everyone. The curious townsfolk come together for her funeral and reflect on her history in Jefferson, Mississippi. The story takes place at Miss Emily Grierson’s funeral. No one has stepped a foot in her house in ten years but her servant. So the suspense of going into her house to see it has risen for everyone. She’s always had the best house on the block, even though it’s old. There are a few characters in this story, actually, there’s eight. There are eight characters but I’ll only talk about a few of them. Miss Emily is an old school, she grew up in the south trapped by a society corrupt on forcing her to stay in her role and an abusive father forcing her to obey everything he said. All we know is that Emily is an only child. The narrator wants to let us know just how much Emily was her father's daughter, and just how lonely she was with him all their lives. From the reading, her father had full control of her until his death, and even while he was in his grave.

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By separating her completely from everyone when he was alive, going as far as to make sure she didn't have any love life whatsoever, he made her life miserable and she could never get away from it. Her father just seems to be a controlling person and capable of cruelty, toward his only daughter.

But don’t let her fool you, she isn’t as innocent as she may seem. Miss Emily killed her Fiance Homer Barron with rat poison and played dress up with his corps. But when he started decomposing she slept in bed with is Skelton until she died. The story seems to suggest that Miss Emily's father is so abusive that Miss Emily develops Stockholm Syndrome. When he dies, Emily refuses to believe it, she almost prohibits the townspeople from taking his body. “sisters calling on her, and the doctors, trying to persuade her to let them dispose of the body. We remembered all the young men her father had driven away, and we knew that with nothing left, she would have to cling to that which had robbed her, as people will”. Miss Emily’s father seems to be a very selfish man. The story almost makes it seem as if he just wants her to himself. She's not allowed to have any friend or even a love life really. He basically keeps her away from everyone.

The Jeffersonians don't like Homer much, he's a rough talking, charismatic Northern. Everything else we can say about Homer Barron is conjecture. But, like the people of Jefferson, we love to speculate. We don't know how involved Homer was with Emily he may have intended to marry her, but was discourgae by the wacky antics of her cousins and the town. We don't know why he went to her house that last time, or how exactly his death took place. We also don't know if he liked women or men. I got this conclusion from the text. Then we said, 'She will persuade him yet,' because Homer had remarked he liked men, and it was known that he drank with the younger men in the Elks' Club that he was not a marrying man. Here, the town seems to be saying that, even though he isn't the marrying kind, Emily might still manage to hook him. Emily is over thirty and unappealing, and Homer is probably gay.

After all, Homer's a Northerner, and worthy of contempt in the eyes of the Southern Jeffersonians. This firm prejudice could have also contributed to the fact that Homer Barron's disappearance didn't provoke much of a fuss in the community of Jefferson. Even though Miss Emily's house started to smell like rotting flesh after Homer Barron seemingly skipped town, the community didn't try very hard to figure out if there had been any foul play.

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