Child's Hands Holding White Rose for Peace Free Creative Commons

A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner (Delbanco) was a very interesting story to read.  This story belongs in the ugly love because of the madness and obsession Emily Grierson had for Homer Barron.  There is also the ugly love between Emily and Mr. Grierson, her father, because of his madness.  The love between Emily and her manservant would be a good love because of his loyal friendship.  I do not know what to call the love between Emily and the town, maybe a good nosey love. The story ends after her funeral, showing the ugly side of love.

The story tells how the Grierson family was a prestigious and well known family who held themselves a little too high.  Mr. Grierson deliberately prohibits Emily from seeing any young men.  The young men did not measure up to the standards of Emily’s father. “None of the young men were quite good enough for Miss Emily…a slender figure in white in the background, her father spraddled silhouette in the foreground, his back to her and clutching a horsewhip” (Faulkner 324).  Miss Emily remained single because of the insane and controlling behavior of her father. 

After her father died, work on the paving of the sidewalks began.   The construction foreman was a “big, dark, ready man with a big voice and eyes lighter than his face “ (Faulkner 325).  His name was Homer Barron.  Homer and Emily started going for Sunday afternoon buggy rides. The townspeople were suspecting Homer was the one Emily would marry.  “Homer himself had remarked – he liked men” (Faulkner 326).  Homer stated “he was not a marrying man” (Faulkner 326).   Emily realized that Homer did not love her and was not going to marry her. 

Three days later Homer Barrron was back in town.  “A neighbor saw the Negro man admit him at the kitchen door at dusk one evening. And that was the last we saw of Homer Barron“ (Faulkner 326).  On the day Emily was put in the ground, the one room that no one had seen in forty years was opened.  “The man himself lay in the bed” (Faulkner 327).   Miss Emily had poisoned him with the arsenic she purchased from the druggist.  “Then we noticed that in the second pillow was the indentation of a head.  One of us lifted something from it, and leaning forward, that faint and invisible dust dry and acrid in the nostrils, we saw a long strand of iron-gray hair. (Faulkner 327).”   Emily had been so insanely in love (ugly love) with Homer that she poisoned him.

Looking at the region and time period this story took place tells us the social rules were a lot different than todays.  Women of Emily’s social standing were expected to marry a prestigious man and have a family.   Miss Emily had mental issues from being single well into her thirties; an inherited insanity and from the way her father treated her. Miss Emily became obsessed with Homer Barron because of her mental state of mind.  Miss Emily had a mental condition called necrophilia which means an abnormal fondness for being in the presence of dead bodies (The Free Dictiroary ). This type of obsession is classified as an ugly love, born out of an inherited madness.  

About the Author

            William Faulkner was born in Mississippi in 1897.  With the help of Sherwood Anderson, his first novel was published.  Faulkner wrote about the American South.   He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1949.  “Faulkner declared ‘I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail’’’ (Delbanco 483).  Faulkner died in 1962.

=Works Cited =

Delbanco, Nicholas and Alan Cheruse. Literature Craft and Voice. Second Edition. New York City: Mc Graw-Hill, 2012. Print.

Faulkner, William. "A Rose For Emily." Delabanco, Nicholas and Alan Cheuse. Literature Craft and Voice. New York City: McGraw Hill, 2012. 323-327. Book.

The Free Dictiroary . n.d. Web site. 16 November The 2013. <<a href="">necrophilia</a>>.

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