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Rock Street, San Francisco

In this short story readers are introduced to a central figure Miss Emily Grierson, a focal odd character that is withdrawn from society and trapped in a world of delusions. A woman, who was stubborn, unchanging and unable to let go of her haunting past. Purpose of writer of this story William Faulkner is to explore the lives of characters who live in the closed society of the American South. He explores what happens when individuals lose their connection to society and its values. Miss Emily was kept isolated as well, and that she was never able to form any meaningful relationships because of idea of their social status. Likewise, the descriptions that we are given of Miss Emily in her old age, when the Aldermen go and visit her about the question of her taxes, indicates that in a sense she is already dead and separated from the rest of the world.
Talking about character of Miss Emily, she was sort of royalty to the towns people because her father was the mayor of the town. This “royalty” gave Emily a sense of entitlement which could be seen throughout the story. An example would be when we she went to the store to buy some poison, she wanted the strongest poison the owner had to offer which was arsenic, a type of rat poison. Although the druggist, by law has to know what she is going to use the poison for, Emily refuses to answer and continues to stare at the man until he decides to give her the arsenic. This is one of the many examples of how Emily thinks she is somehow above the law and should not be questioned for her actions.
A few routine visits from the townspeople, companionship from Homer Barron, who is found as a skeleton in her house upon her death, and assistance from her housekeeper Tobe is the only interaction Miss Emily has with the outside world. Her father stands between her and the rest of the town, refusing to allow her to date the young men who pursue her; whom he sees as somehow not good enough for her. As readers, we wonder whether Miss Emily’s isolation is self-imposed or some kind of social punishment? Miss Emily chooses to shut herself in as she did for years after her father’s death. Furthermore, Miss Emily’s isolation is associated with the disappearance of Homer Barron introduced to readers (Khrais, 2017). Consequently, her father driving away all of her suitors with his controlling nature alienated her from society because the community thought the opinion of Miss Emily’s father was also Miss Emily’s opinion. This is why the townspeople thought “when she got to be thirty and was still single, we were not pleased exactly, but vindicated” (Faulkner, 393). Instead of feeling sorry for a woman that is nearing an age when spinster is the term most often used to refer to her, the townspeople are “vindicated” that she is still single. They see her as a snobby Grierson getting what she deserves and they enjoy watching her single status and her resulting loneliness continue.
As a result; her only close relationship is with her father, who essentially becomes her whole world. Recalling father and daughter; the narrator depicts them as static and alone, trapped in a living portrait. However, after sometime her father’s death leaves Miss Emily very alone, she ignores herself from the town by having limited contact with the outside world for the remainder of her life. The community itself does little to coerce Miss Emily out of her forced seclusion. Emily has difficulties in adapting to change .She faces a lot of trouble in forgetting the people she loves. The death of her father is a big problem to her .Even three days after her father’s death she does not accept the reality. She loves her father so much and that is why she does not want to let go. Town people come to bury her father but she has no sign of grieve on her face. She tells them that her father is not dead and that is why she is not mourning. The doctor pleads with her to bury her father. Eventually she breaks down and the father is buried in her absence.
After Emily’s father dies, the community mentions that she disappears for some time. Later on, Emily experiences her first meaningful relationship by dating Homer Barron, despite the community’s disapproval. Baron was a Yankee or a man from the north who took an interest in Emily; they were often seen together in town and most people thought that they were married. She was taught by her southern values at a young age that the man is the head of the household and a permanent part of the household. These are beliefs that the townspeople also shared but instead of embracing her as one of their own, they alienated her from their society by being critical and scrutinizing her existence. She loves him so much and she wants to be with him. She does not want to accept the fact that he does not want to marry her She obsessive that she cannot take it anymore. She did this because she had the desire to sleep with him and according to her this is love.
When Emily found out that baron was not the “marrying type” she decided to take matters into her own hands and killed baron with arsenic so that he would never leave her. The townspeople also criticized relationships with those whom they saw below their status quo. In conclusion, Miss Emily Grierson is a victim of her own pride. Her mania is a manifestation of her pride, her independence, and her iron will. She did not crumble under pressures exerted upon her; she did not give in.
Emily Grierson remains isolated in her decaying home until the day she dies. The only time community members see Emily is when she looks through her windows and occasionally during their rare visits to her home. Emily’s isolated life is a result of her father’s oppressive personality and her inability to branch out into Jefferson’s society. As time passes, Emily simply becomes more reclusive and cannot adapt to the changing culture of Jefferson, which metaphorically represents the decay of the old South.
From the beginning, the community depicts Miss Emily more as an unwanted object they wish to explore than a recently deceased person. Part of the first line reads, “When Miss Emily Grierson died, our whole town went to her funeral: the men through a sort of respectful affection for a fallen monument, the women mostly out of curiosity to see the inside of her house” (Faulkner, 391). When a person dies, the initial reaction of most people would be to give their condolences to the next of kin or try in some way to put the deceased to rest, and some could argue that the men of the town do this, but most of the townspeople, arguably the women, attend her funeral purely to benefit their own curiosity. This notion is later confirmed at the end of the story when the narrator indicates that after the funeral the first ladies in the house came “with their hushed, sibilant voices and their quick, curious glances” (Faulkner, 396). Here, her death appears to be used to the townspeople’s advantage because it gives them an excuse to snoop around her house to see for themselves how this very private person had lived. At last they are able to enter her sanctuary to scrutinize her existence unsupervised by anyone.
She has a different relationship between Emily and her town: At her youth, Miss Emily is not wholly separated from her environment. In later life, however, she withdraws more and more until her own death again exposes her to townspeople (Abdurrahman, 2017). Miss Emily is left as “the victim of southern tradition and culture” (Fang, 18). Her victimization, and ultimate ostracism, is a result of the community’s inability to perceive Miss Emily as anything but a “high and mighty” (Faulkner, 392) Grierson who became a “disgrace to the town” (Faulkner, 395) when the working class Northerner, Homer Barron, began courting her.
She led an idle and useless life. She was driven to criminal acts in desperate attempts to stimulate something of love’s fulfillment. These acts were neither life giving nor redeeming; on the contrary, she was led into a life of frustration, perversion, isolation, and decay. Faulkner story’s structure is not written in a plot. The story is disorganized as Emily’s life. We have to accept some consequences in life. The idea of dependence is reinforced when she refuses to leave Homer. One of Emily’s traits is that she is dependent. She is used to her house and all its weaknesses and not ready to let anything change even if people around her are encouraging and pushing her to do so. The story encourages people to face reality in life .Where change is needed it should be accepted (Faulkner 132)The story argues about forgiveness, compassion and understanding .this is through facing the facts of past and present which are inseparable .Isolation is also highlighted .It shows how people are isolated by families, community and tradition. The story is against isolation.

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