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A Rose for Emily by William Faulker

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A Rose For Emily

By William Faulker

William Faulkner was born in New Albany, Mississippi, in 1897. One of the twentieth century's greatest writers, Faulkner earned his fame from a series of novels that explored the South's historical legacy, its fraught and often tensely violent present, and its uncertain future. Faulkner won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1949 and the Pulitzer Prize in both 1955 and 1962. He died in Byhalia, Mississippi on July 6, 1962, at the age of sixty-four.

"A Rose for Emily" was Faulkner's first short story published in a major magazine. The story tells about the life Emily has gone through. When she's young, her father holds the major authority that she has no freedom to choose her own life partner. After her father dies, she meets Homer Barron and falls in love with him. Unfortunately, Homer cuts clear that he is not a marrying man. Her heart is broken. She remains single since then. Forty years passes, on her funeral, townspeople find out that Homer's corpse is in her house. They also discover Emily's hair on the pillow.

From the story, people believe that Emily is a victim. She is controlled by his father during her youth. Her father drives away every young man who comes to propose her. This is because she is weak and she is unwilling to take a stand against her father in life. After her father's death, she eventually can seek for her love freely. She meets Homer Barron and they have a romantic relationship. But when everybody in town believes that she's going to marry him, Homer disappears. Again, she's a victim in relationship for being jilted by her lover. She's a victim throughout her life for being lonely, friendless, urged to pay taxes and people even complain her for the smell in her house.

However, I don't see her as a victim. She is a murderer instead. She hates her father and decides to kill her father for controlling her too much until no man dares to approach her. Later, she falls in love with Homer but Homer jilts her and leaves the town. Her love turns into hatred. She wants to take revenge. So she invites Homer to her house and poisons him with arsenic chemical. Thirty years after both men she loves die, she can hardly get any man to love her anymore. She, like her great aunt, has gone completely crazy at last. She commits suicide. She has kept companion with Homer long enough. It's time for her to say goodbye to her lover. There are too many evidences showing that Emily is killing people and therefore it is my belief that Emily is a murderer.

My first supporting point is Emily kills her own father. When we look into the issue seriously, her father's death is only mentioned in Section II of the story, but it never mention about how he is dead. The readers only know that "When her father died, it got about that the house was all that was left to her..." and "The day after his death all the ladies prepared..." There's a big question mark here. Why does the author not indicate he's died of illness? Or perhaps an accident? This is just so obvious that he's killed by his own daughter, Emily.

As we all know well, "A Rose for Emily" tells of family history of insanity. "People in our town, remembering how old lady Wyatt, her great-aunt, had gone completely crazy at last, believed that the Griersons held themselves a little too high for what they really were." Emily's father should have known their family history of insanity long time ago. And he must have discovered this sickness in Emily since young. Out of love and over protection, he purposely creates a perfect image of Emily so that no man can match her and no man will court her. He knew if any man hurts Emily's heart, she could do anything, like killing herself, out in despair.

But, he would never know that



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