Writing IIWatching Death in “A Rose for Emily”William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily” is a complex story remembering the life of EmilyGrierson. It is told as a memorial for a fallen hero of sorts. The townspeople tell her story as theirmemories of her life come to them. Emily’s life is surrounded by death in changing times as shetries to hold on to her past.Death is an occurrence that ap
Watching Death in “A Rose for Emily”
William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily” is a complex story remembering the life of Emily
Grierson. It is told as a memorial for a fallen hero of sorts. The townspeople tell her story as their
memories of her life come to them. Emily’s life is surrounded by death in changing times as she
tries to hold on to her past.
Death is an occurrence that appears many times in Faulkner’s story. The first death in
Emily’s life is the death of her father. His death is mentioned multiple times throughout the story,
showing the impact he had in Emily’s life. When he died, Emily was unable to let go of her
father’s body for three days (Faulkner 159), continuing her life as if nothing has happened. Since
he had run any suitors away (Faulkner 159), he was also the only person Emily had in her life. He
kept his daughter isolated from the rest of the world for so long that after his death she is clinging
to his body and the past because she has nothing else (Thessayist). Emily then remains secluded
from the world, staying in the home she and her father lived in for years. Present in living room is
a portrait of her father (Faulkner 156). Even after his death he is still hovering over his daughter.
He held Emily down with the same force as slavery held down the south, limiting its growth.
Although slavery had been abolished, it still impacted the Old South heavily.
Another reference to death is the appearance of both Emily and her family home.
Although the home had once been beautiful and full of life, it is now filled with dust and is “an
eyesore among eyesores,” (Faulkner 155). The same can be said about Emily, who was once a
slender woman (Faulkner 159). When confronted about paying taxes, Emily’s body was swelled,
much to the effect of a body after death. Her all black clothing (Faulkner 156) resembles funeral
attire, and the she wears a watch on a gold chain around her neck. The decline of Emily and her
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