A Reader Response Critique of A Rose for Emily

Custom User Avatar
More by this author
“So the next say we all said, ‘She will kill herself’; and we said it would be the best thing” (Faulkner). William Faulkner grew up in Mississippi; he came from a southern family. He mostly built his novels around family drama. A Rose for Emily is a story of a woman having a difficult time letting go of things, especially her father. The towns’ people are not too fond of her and her withdrawn behavior. Being brought up in a strict household, Miss Emily couldn’t understand the freedom love can hold upon meeting her sweetheart, Homer. When Homer decided to leave Miss Emily, she went to extraordinary measures to keep him, which resulted in his death. Using reader response criticism, the reader can analyze William Faulkner’s A Rose for Emily though character, action, and secrets.
Miss Emily endured a complicated life; her father was a very influential person in her life and when he passed away she had a hard time letting go of him. “She told them that her father was not dead. She did that for three days...” (Faulkner). Miss Emily was not able to accept her father’s death, I can relate to Miss Emily, because recently my grandma lost her son. During the funeral she wanted to take out her son out of the coffin because she believed that he was still alive. Miss Emily had troubles in her romantic relationships because of the way her father raised her. “Then we knew that this was to be expected too; as if that quality of her father which had thwarted her woman’s life so many times…”(Faulkner). Her father was a very controlling man, and because of him she wasn’t able to marry her sweetheart. I can relate to Miss Emily here as well because my parents are very strict about whom I date. They have high standards, and I can’t bring just anyone home. I have to make sure that whoever I bring home whether friend or a date has to meet their expectations and impress them in one way or another.
Miss Emily can be actions contribute greatly to the story as well. Miss Emily’s father can be blamed for the things that Miss Emily does as she ages. “Miss Emily a slender figure in white in the background, her father spraddled a silhouette in the foreground, his back to her and clutching a horsewhip…” (Faulkner). Miss Emily’s father was a very strict man and when you first walked into their house you experienced his presence over anyone else’s. My parents are very strict, they except the best from me and nothing less than the best. I pay my own bills, and I spend only the money that I make. It is expected from me to bring home only A’s and really be on top of my school work. The biggest give away that Miss Emily has trouble letting go of things. “The man himself lay in the bed.” (Faulkner). Miss Emily killed Homer in order to keep him from leaving her. He wanted to leave her because of how she was influenced by her father. When I broke up with my ex boyfriend I had a hard time getting over our break. I didn’t kill him or anything it just took me a few weeks to be okay with our break up. Eventually I got over it and now I am glad that things ended the way they did.
There are many secrets to be found from reading the story about Miss Emily. “After a week or two the smell went away.” (Faulkner). There was a weird smell coming from Miss Emily’s property and the neighbors wanted the smell gone. They didn’t know how to go about informing Miss Emily about the smell. They thought it be inappropriate to accuse a lady of smelling bad so instead they broke into her yard to investigate the smell. During their break in Miss Emily noticed an intruder in her yard and after about two weeks the bad smell went away. This wasn’t the only time Miss Emily shocked the town, one day she decided to go to a local store and purchase arsenic. “I want some poison.” (Faulkner). Miss Emily goes to a local store to request a bottle of arsenic. The clerk doesn’t ask questions, but later in the story rumors of Miss Emily trying to attempt suicide rose. In the end we can speculate that the poison was used to kill her sweetheart Homer.
Using reader response criticism, the reader can analyze William Faulkner’s A Rose for Emily though character, action, and secrets. Faulkner wrote about family issues that can apply to many people and not only the characters of A Rose for Emily. Miss Emily’s character is very distant but at the same time many of her qualities can relate to anyone. Although Miss Emily had a hard time letting go of things, she may have felt robbed of her future happiness by her father, causing her to hold on to things as a safety net. The significance of my paper is that although Miss Emily seemed as a distant character throughout the whole story, she had strong underlying reasons, such as her father, to make her do things the way she did as she grew older.





Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback