"A Reader Response Critique of A Rose for Emily"

October 31, 2011
“Then the newer generation became the backbone and the spirit of the town, and the painting pupils grew up and fell away and did not send their children to her with boxes of color and tedious brushes and pictures cut from the ladies' magazines.” In the story, “A Rose for Emily,” William Faulkner recalls the main character, Emily Grierson’s, death and also describes how the entire town had attended her funeral in her own home in which not one stranger had entered in ten years. Before her death, Emily had many problems with the local town government because the previous mayor had ceased all of her tax payments due to her father’s contribution to the town, but when the new mayor and the new alderman arrive, they are expecting her to pay her taxes and that is the one thing she refuses and thinks she is obligated not to do. When Emily’s father had passed away, she had a hard time letting go and accepting that fact and ever since then she has been alone in her house with nothing but her servant, Tobe. Faulkner, overviews Emily’s life and all of the hardships she had went through from growing up with her father to having to let her father go. He also shows how she overcomes some factors that gave her problems throughout her life and how she chooses to end things dramatically and secretly towards the end of the story. In this story, the author really shows true feelings within the main character and it makes the reader want to look for the hidden parts of the story along with the dramatic connections to the real world.

The characters in the story are very revealing around town. Everybody except Miss Emily are sticking to their word and would like to do what they believe should be done. Miss Emily, on the other hand, is more secretive and has more hidden thoughts throughout the story, which makes the reader look into it more and actually figure out and analyze what is occurring in the story. For example, in one part of the story, the townspeople begin to detect some type of bad odor coming from Miss Emily’s home. Miss Emily’s entire life was spent with her father, who was the one who pushed away most of the important men in Emily’s life. Her father recently passed away and Emily did not want to let go and accept her father’s death. This shows Miss Emily’s sight of personality and life and why she is the way that she is.

The moral in this story is relative to something that had happened in my own life about six or seven years ago. Miss Emily did not want to let go of any of her losses and because she did not overcome her hardships and let herself let go, Miss Emily dies towards the end of the story. She lead a life of loneliness and grief with a lot of people throughout the town feeling pity for her as she grew older and older and people began to see less and less of her as time went on. About six years back, my grandmother passed away and she was the one person that was always there for me and also someone that I knew I was able to rely on if I ever needed anything. My grandmother meant a lot to me and when she passed, it felt like she had to still be there no matter what really actually happened, I was completely convinced that she was still here. To me, it was as if my grandmother could not be let go from me and I knew that she would never be forgotten. Miss Emily showed something about her own personality that connected well in the same way with me and my grandmother because eventually, Emily was able to let go, admit and accept her father’s passing. For days to weeks after my grandmother passed, my mother would always talk with me and help me through the situation, telling me it will be alright and that grandma will be fine, eventually leading to myself also accepting the devastating situation that had occurred. Going through this tragedy changed my looks toward life, preparing me for unexpected changes in life that were to come.

In the story “A Rose for Emily,” Miss Emily shows a big lack of emotion throughout the story. The story makes the reader realize and look into the true meanings and feelings of Miss Emily because she does not like to show how she feels until it finally comes down to it. Miss Emily, throughout the story, seems as if she wants no change with anything going on around her. For example, when her father dies, she tries to keep it a secret for a couple of days until she is forced by the townspeople to basically reveal his body and truthfully explain the situation. Also, when her fiancé gets killed, she also does not want anybody knowing about what had happened, so she tries to keep that to herself too, which does not end up working in the end. It is a negative effect on Miss Emily with the type of person she is for not accepting or wanting to bring any type of change into her life because it resulted in her growing old by herself and passing away with no family and nobody involved in her life besides the people that knew her the most, the townspeople.

In conclusion, the author really shows true feelings within the main character and what type of person Miss Emily really is. This makes the reader visualize the story better and want to look for the hidden parts in the story along with the dramatic connections to the real world. People can learn that change effects everybody in different ways and that it can result in negative outcomes most of the time. This story shows that change within a person is very significant depending on how that person reacts to the specific change and also how it will affect their life.





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