A Rose For Emily Isolation Thesis

In “A Rose For Emily”, William Faulkner suggests that isolation from society can cause people to do unspeakable acts because they are lonely. The story takes place in the fictional town of Jefferson, Mississippi. A man named Homer Barron who Emily has been seeing falls off a ladder and dies when he is supposed to be working on his family’s tombstone. A few days after his death, rumors begin to spread that Emily had poisoned him with arsenic because she was angry when he left her for another woman.

The town eventually learns the truth when they see that Homer’s body has been dug up from where he was buried so Emily could keep him with her forever. A mob comes to take his body away from her but she refuses to give it back. When they shoot at her, all she says is “Shoot – Shoot” making them leave empty-handed (Page 265). Emily is the main source of the isolation in A Rose For Emily because she refuses to let anyone else enter her life after Homer Barron dies.

Not even when he has been dead for days does she decide that it would be alright to have people around. A reason for this might be that she fears that if people are allowed into her life, they’ll end up abandoning her again like Homer did. This causes her to become very lonely throughout the course of A Rose For Emily . She feels so alone and isolated from society that eventually she kills a man and keeps his body in her bed just so she won’t feel alone anymore.

The ghastly incident at Miss Emily’s bungalow one Sunday morning worked itself into the fabric of our townspeople’s lives no differently than if it had been a birth or a marriage. This shows that A Rose For Emily takes place in the small town of Jefferson, Mississippi where everyone knows each other and their business. A man named Homer Barron falls off of a ladder while he is working on his family’s tombstone just before Emily has planned to marry him.

A few days after his death, people begin to spread rumors that she killed Homer with arsenic because she was angry when he left her for another woman. A mob comes to take his body away from Emily but she refuses to let them take it so they shoot at her only to have her say “shoot” back making them leave empty handed. This incident shakes up the entire town because they feel as though anyone could be in danger. It isn’t the fact that Emily killed Homer but it is how she goes about doing it that scares them because of her isolation from society.

A Rose For Emily takes place during the early part of the 20th century so Miss Emily’s actions are not acceptable by most social standards, mostly due to her status as a woman and widowed former Southern Belle. Most men would have been ostracized for such an act if it were discovered they had murdered someone but since Emily was a woman, it wasn’t taken as harshly even though she had committed murder just like any man would have if he were put into the same situation. I am now and ever be your friend (Page 267).

While A Rose For Emily takes place during the early part of the 20th century, Emily still holds on to some Southern traditions with her refusal to let people into her life after Homer dies. A reason she might have for this is that she doesn’t want people to abandon her again like they did when Homer died because she’s just as lonely without him as she was with him so it makes sense that if he left her for another woman, no one else would ever want to be with her either.

Her isolation leaves her lonely and desperate so when William Faulkner reveals the last words of A Rose For Emily he leaves readers feeling sympathetic towards Miss Emily even though she committed murder by keeping Homer Barron’s body in his bed until it decayed. A Rose For Emily shows a person’s isolation from society and how it can lead them to do terrible things but also leaves readers feeling sorry for Miss Emily since they realize she was lonely without Homer no matter how strange of an act it was for her to keep his decaying body in her bed all of those years.

The family’s house was once a mansion but has since declined to an empty relic of its former glory. A recent fire had left the town with only three large antebellum homes, including Miss Emily Grierson’s home, in which the Federalist style reflects the influence of Jefferson’s early residents who came from Virginia and South Carolina. Miss Emily is her last surviving member. She never leaves her home anymore or interacts with anyone in town except when it comes to buying food for herself.

The general belief that exists about her is that she lives by herself after having killed both her father and husband because neither would have consented to divorce so she could marry Homer Barron, who many assume was just another one of lovers even though there were no official records to prove his existence. A number of rumors also surround this mysterious man – he is often seen arriving on a freight train and then leaving the next morning, she is supposedly seen walking with him up to her bedroom (though no one has actually witnessed it), or that he committed suicide because Miss Emily would not marry him.

The town’s people are divided about Miss Emily; some believe nothing but bad luck came from having anything to do with the Grierson family while others feel a sense of respect for them even though they have fallen from their former glory. A minority of townspeople even feel pity for the once-proud old family, who cannot find a way to support themselves. A few women in town try regularly to call upon her but there is never any reply. A town man explains: “She’s sick. She stays shut up in there. ” The story begins with a visit by the tax assessor to Miss Emily’s home.

He tries to convince her to pay taxes on her property, but she adamantly refuses and asks him not to bother her again until he has good news for her. Later that night, one of Mr. Grierson’s former employees comes into town and tells some men at the barbershop about how he had gone out that morning only to find his mule lying dead on the ground with its throat cut open. A month later, the constable goes over to Miss Emily’s house with two other men because someone called into the sheriff’s office with a complaint that a prowler was seen in her backyard.

When she comes to answer their knock, they ask if they can come inside because they have a search warrant for the premises. Miss Emily begs them not to go in and tells them she hasn’t done anything wrong, but the men insist on going through every room in the house until they reach Miss Emily’s bedroom where they find an old man’s decaying corpse lying on her bed with his head propped up by pillows. A silver-handled pistol lays at his feet and there is enough stale clotted blood caked around his neck from being recently slaughtered to suggest he met a violent end not long ago.

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