Thesis: The short story “A Rose For Emily” by William Faulkner shows that, if we do not adopt to the changing times, we will die a lonely death like Miss Emily who never changes her ways in society.
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Miss Emily – weak minded, lonely, and psychotic
Father- the person who controls her life even after death
Homer- Miss Emily’s gay lover, who rejects her
B. Setting
Small town of Jefferson
Old house that is creepy looking
C. Symbol
1. Watch- adapting to the time and changes in yourself and society.
2. Home- symbolizes Miss Emily being closed off.
D. Lesson
1. Don’t stay stuck in your dark place when nothing is keeping you there anymore adapt to the changes or you will die a slow lonely death
2. If you don’t stand up for yourself and continue to stay in isolation you will never be

E. Loneliness takes a turn
1. Emily kills her lover, keeps his dead body in a room, and sleeps with it at night, so in some way she is not lonely anymore.

The short story ” A Rose For Emily” by Faulkner shows that the south refuses to accept social and time changes. The best theme in the short story would have to be its problem between tradition and change. In the story you’ll see how it changes from past to present. Faulkner the author comments on how the south risks itself from being stuck in the past and the can’t accept change. If we do not adopt to the changing of times, we are going to die a lonely death like Miss Emily, who never changes her way in society as the time changes.
A author who wrote prose, he came up with the Yoknapatawpha County, William Faulkner was a legend. Born September 25, 1897, in New Albany, Mississippi, and died July 6, 1962. Of four sons he was the eldest, of Murry Cuthbert and Maud Butler Falkner. He was well aware of his family’s history. His grandfather, who they called the old colonel, was a violent man, who fought in the civil war, but his was a prominent figure. His grandfather was like a dark shadow throughout his children and grandchildren’s life. “Mammy,” as she was called, was a black woman named Caroline Barr. She raised faulkner from birth until he was old enough to care for himself. How she raised him had a big impact on his life.
A very crafty man Faulkner was, he exaggerated his stories and lied about stories he would tell his friends. Faulkner wore a uniform to make him look like a lieutenant, he thought his reputation would look good. One writer had a big influence on faulkner his name was Sherwood Anderson he always gave Faulkner some good criticism. One thing particular was to write about his hometown. That’s when he made up the Yoknapatawpha County. It is a place almost identical to Lafayette County, in which Oxford, Mississippi, is located.Faulkner was known for his faithful sound of Southern speech. He shined so much light on social issues that most American writer left out, especially slavery and gender crisis. “Faulkner’s novels and short stories continue to offer readers and critics complex and never quite cohesive significations to gender and gender identities” written by Cheryl Minick. Winning the Nobel prize was an astonishing moment in his career. His legacy still is alive till this day. He captured regions beauty and not so beautiful past.
The story “A Rose for Emily” starts at Miss Emily Grierson’s funeral service. Then it flashes back in time to show the audience her childhood. Growing up Emily didn’t get much social interaction with people because of her father. She didn’t take his death well. He didn’t let her have to many guys friends or boyfriends. “After her father’s death she went out very little; after her sweetheart went away, people hardly saw her at all.” as faulkner quotes in the book. So now she has no lover or family and a home by herself. After her father is buried, Emily has a mental breakdown. The people in the town had a judgemental relationship with Miss Emily well since they decided to stop billing her for taxes in 1894, they talk about her and make fun of her and who she dates is even a problem with them.
After her father dies, the summer after, Miss Emily comes in contact with Homer Barron, a yankee and his crew building sidewalks in the town. The townspeople don’t approve of this relationship and they feel the need to bring in her family to persuade her to end the relationship. People really thought she was going to kill herself, all because they were being nosey and saw her at a drugstore buying poisoning. But little do they know that wasn’t the reason. The finally felt some sympathy for her. Imagine being alone and “humanized” as the book put it. The last person with emily was her lover homer. She has gained weight, long gray hair and dies alone in the house which hasn’t seen light in years. So now we are back to her funeral. So many things were off. One they found a skeleton in an upstairs bedroom, but the strange part is, they found Miss Emily’s Hair beside the skeleton.
No matter how much we try we could never figure Miss Emily out, no one really can, she so strange. We might think of Emily as weak-minded. For her its a struggle to tell people to back off and to stop controlling her life. Her behavior changes after her father’s death, when she tries to pursue her own desires for love. Her efforts to find love fails every time and now she is back in this lifeless, loveless, unhappy reality that people including her father has made for her. The fact that he is dead and gone and she still goes back to that life says a lot. Society has put her in this role which she is unable to escape. I really feel bad for her. Its makes it hard to understand her and know the real her when she just sits behind this veil, which the town and has put on her
Emily’s father Mr. Grierson is a very controlling and presence even when he dies, and it’s clear to everyone that he has a lasting influence on emily. Emily life is lifeless no love no fun no happiness, mostly because her father. What type of father doesn’t want his daughter to have love and be happy, Emily fathers, that’s what type of father. The life she lives is so hard to get away from. The only way to escape is to die. Her father set her up to live this lonely life.
Homer Barron, the tall tan deep voice man that had the most uplifting personality. His beautiful face and body wins over the town. As Jack scherting says, ” at first they accepted her affair with benign tolerance, expecting it too soon to be ratified by marriage”. Feelings start to form and bonds start to mend and late night sunday drives are happening. Much like Miss Emily, he is an oddball and the talk of the town. The time goes by and no marriage has yet to happen, which starts to raise red flags within the town. Gay and not looking to marry, Homer decides to stay single. Which drove Emily to the edge, to her insanity as I call it. He was now the victim in a plan Miss Emily makes to keep him in her life permanently.
The setting in “A Rose for Emily” is Faulkner’s post civil-war Jefferson.A small little town with creepy vibes. The tone for this story was really set, it combined with the times and what was going on at the point in history.. As Faulkner says in the story, “It was a big, squarish frame house that had once been white, decorated with cupolas and spires and scrolled balconies in the heavily lightsome style of the seventies, set on what had once been our most select street”. The house was really a big mirror for emily if she looked in it she would see herself old and lost its beauty.
Like herself the house is a symbol for the story. Its shows how the home and miss Emily are ,much alike because at one point in time both were wealthy or brought wealth and both have lost their standing in the most high. A reflection of Emily the house bares its stubborn decay to the residents in the town. The death of Emily was like death that the townspeople had been waiting on to get all the accusations and suspiciousness that they had been having. The hair that was found at the end of the story was also a symbol. Symbolizing what lengths people will go to in the pursuit of happiness.
Floyd Watkins mentions in his article,”In youth Emily id not wholly separated from her somewhat sympathetic environment”. This life that she lives is just a childhood never adulthood, and its not her fault. The day she was born until the day she died was childhood. To me miss Emily never grew up. A life strictly ruled by her father. Miss Emily can not find her own life. People were somewhat happy when here father died because they thought she would have a chance to get a life of her own. Everytime something good happens it’s like it goes away.

The love of her life has lied to her and rejected her love. This drove her to insanity, to the point where she killed him and didn’t want to let him go so she keeps his body for decades.”Emily’s motivation is obscure, in much of the critical commentary on the work is an attempt to discern a coherent rationale for her actions, to find a motive for Emily”Dennis Allen says in his article. This just goes to show us how empty and isolated Emily was. From the start to finish the house smelled. Her father’s death was not real to her she didn’t want to believe he was gone. The town wasn’t surprised by this, neither did they call her crazy, because they knew how much he meant to her and that he was all she had in this life. So when homer shows up things change a lot. The town didn’t like that at all, because his social class was so low and they thought Emily was lowering her reputation. They even went as far as calling in her family. Nobody even knew Emily was s sick before she died.
William Faulkner creates a story that includes many ideas about society and how it functions in a specific time period in the South. It was so much put into this short story.”A Rose for Emily” is an important part in literature due to study of the effects of change created in the old times in the South. Everything that was thrown at Miss Emily made her sink so low and it was just sad how depressed she was. It’s like no one helped her and everyone just judge her and made her feel like an outcast. The town had so much to say about Emily and her life but no one ever helped her escape that loneliness.

In Ruth Sullivans article she comments, “As a tragic tale of a woman’s noble but doomed effort to resist the forces of time, change, and death, and as a tale of the catastrophe that can result when someone allows illusion to become confused with reality.” She shut herself out from the rest of the world. No one helped her or opened up her eyes to the changing times in society. So she just lost it and went insane and eventually sunk so low to a dark lonely place which caused her to do things unspeakable. It’s so important to move as times move because youll get stuck in tradition and with society if you don’t adapt to the changes.