In the story “A Rose for Emily”, by William Faulkner, it is clear that a change is indispensable in a person’s life and Emily is the perfect example of this. As a bizarre story unfolds in author William Faulkner’s short story “A Rose for Emily”, a woman who has stayed in seclusion most of her life somehow managed to be all that the townspeople talked about. Faulkner uses the narrator to tell Miss Emily Grierson’s story because she can’t tell it herself. Unfortunately Emily Grierson is deceased and the story is jumps back and forth between her death and the way she lived her life. With the narrator, the author is able to prove that Miss Emily herself controls the townspeople and gets them to do anything she wanted them to, and that her life is mainly heard as gossip. She stayed in the pre-civil war past. Emily Grierson was a sheltered southern woman who, while alive, struggled immensely with her sanity and the evolving world around her. Emily’s father, a very prestigious man, was the culprit behind Emily’s senseless behavior. He kept her sheltered from the rest of the people in town. “The townspeople remembered all the young men her father had driven away…” (Faulkner 93). If Emily was permitted to date and mingle with people her age one wonders would she had turned out differently or was Emily mentally disturbed?
Emily Grierson was the last remaining member of the upper class Grierson family, and she refused to leave the past behind her even as the next generation begins to take over. Miss Emily became so caught up in the way things were in the old South that she refused to pay her taxes forcing the Board of Alderman to pay a visit to her house. Upon entering her home the men realized that her house was still heavily furnished with old leather furniture, which was another indication that Emily was still clinging to the past. Emily shows more control when she goes to the druggist to buy poison. This is soon after Homer leaves town. It is required by law that if you buy poison you have to state what it is being used for. “Miss Emily just stared at him, her head tilted back to look him eye for eye.” (Faulkner 92). Miss Emily did not have to tell what she would the poison for, it was suspected by the townspeople “‘she will kill herself.’” (Faulkner 93).
From the beginning to the end, the narrator remained a mystery “When Miss Emily Grierson died, our whole town went to her funeral.” (Faulkner 94). The narrator does not leave the reader a name, but somehow they know every detail about Miss Emily’s life. Jumping back and forth they give some detail to who Emily Grierson is. The first sign of control that Emily showed was that unlike the other townspeople, she doesn’t have to pay taxes. “‘See Colonel Sartoris. I have no taxes in Jefferson.’” (Faulkner 92). It was said that Miss Emily’s father loaned so much money to the town, this was a way of repaying. But Miss Emily has been out of touch with the world for long she has no idea that Colonel Sartoris has been dead for nearly ten years and that the story was made up because Emily father only left her with only the house and she didn’t have the money to pay taxes. Emily was stuck in the past with her thoughts and feelings, was left alone her whole life. Her love life soon became the talk of the town when she began being spotted with Homer Barron. “By entering a love affair with Homer Barron, Emily briefly rebelled against southern values…” (Dilworth). The more Emily and Homer are seen together, the townspeople begin to believe that they will get married. In fact they “were really glad… to think that she and Barron were or would soon be married.” (Dilworth). Soon it becomes known that Homer “was not a marrying man.” (Argiro 2). This now gives the towns people something to talk about, Emily was having sexual relations with a man that was not going to marry her. It was also rumored that Barron was homosexual, “he liked men, and it was known