2 September 2011
Response to: “A Rose for Emily”
After reading “A Rose for Emily”, I was left with a peaceful feeling rather than an eerie one like most. Although Miss Emily’s dirty deed was morally corrupt, I was completely satisfied with the ending of the story. I found myself not angry with Miss Emily but rather sympathetic and content with her final action because I do not believe she was solely to blame. This short story calls attention to many flaws in humanity and society alike.
Throughout the story, the narrator talks of how Miss Emily’s father is very controlling and how he feels no one is good enough for his daughter. Subsequently, Miss Emily finds herself lonely and without a husband in her later years. After her father dies, her fear of being alone is almost too much to bear. The narrator says, “She told them her father was not dead. She did that for three days, with the ministers calling on her, and the doctors, trying to persuade her to let them dispose of the body” (32). Miss Emily’s strong denial of the death of her father gives us insight to how deeply her fear of being alone runs. However, I believe this fear runs deep within every human being. We as people are not meant to be alone. The affection and interaction of others keeps us satisfied and stable. When a person is left in seclusion, his or her view of society and self is easily warped.
Furthermore, what interests me the most about this story is the sole fact that Miss Emily takes comfort in her own madness. In reality, Miss Emily has no close relatives or friends and confides herself to her large empty house. However, in the surreal world she has created for herself, she has a husband. She has Homer, a significant other to lay in bed with every night. I take comfort in the fact that Miss Emily is at peace in her own world. It is almost as if there is no other solution but for her to be crazy. I believe Miss Emily felt she had to create her own world because she was not accepted in the one surrounding her. The extent to which people will go to appease their anxieties is fascinating to me. Unfortunately in Miss Emily’s case, her pursuit of peace of mind led her to unlawful extremes.
In addition, I believe the townsfolk forced Miss Emily into a deeper mania than the one that was necessarily required for her to function. The whole town, men and women alike, were aware of the struggles she was facing, yet no one attempted to make friends with her or to simply lend a helping hand. Instead, each person sat rocking on their porches passing judgments as time went on. The narrator speaks of how the townspeople say that her kinsfolk