"A reader response Critique of a Rose for Emily"

October 31, 2011
By , Oak lawn, IL
In William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily” it is expressed how A woman starts off with everything that she had ever wanted, to nothing. Starting off with losing her father. Losing her father was the most drastic change in her life. Miss Emily had to learn how to face society without anyone by her side. Therefore, not having anyone by her side she looked for someone to keep literally by her side. Using reader criticism the reader can analyze William Faulkner’s A Rose for Emily though character, anthropology, and within the hidden meaning.
Miss Emily Grierson was a very well known person. She became acknowledged because of when her father died and when she gave her husband rat poison. In A Rose for Emily, “Emily states that her father is not dead, a charade that she keeps up for three days.” (Faulkner) When Emily’s father died she lost a part of herself, she was no longer herself. She never stepped foot outside of her house no matter what the situation was. Faulkner stated that “Homer enters the Grierson home one evening and then is never seen again.” (Faulkner) She didn’t want to be alone in the house so she killed Homer by giving him rat poison. Miss Emily put Homers corps upstairs in a bed. I can relate to Emily because I also lost someone very close to me. My friend Nick Wingo died about a year ago. Emily’s comfort of coping with death is keeping the actual person with her. My way of coping is that I drive past his house every so often, I go to the cemetery to visit him, and I also keep in touch with his family. We try to keep the memories of Nick alive and not to let them fade. Everyone reacts to death differently and some are more drastic than others.

Miss Emily was raised up to such high standards growing up. Now that she is older and is facing reality she doesn’t know how to react to certain situations. For example, change. The fact that her father died and he was the only thing that really stood by her side, is now gone. She is facing actuality that everything does change. Her not being able to experience change affects her in exceptionally strange ways. Typically when a person passes away they say their goodbyes to them and let them rest in peace. Miss Emily not being able to move on kept Homers body. I can share the same feeling of not wanting to move on with her because when you’re so used to something or someone and it gets taken away from you within a blink of an eye you don’t want to believe that it really just happened. Change brings disappointment and sadness to a lot of people. Change can also bring life lessons.

In a Rose for Emily there was a hidden message. The message that Emily expressed was that she doesn’t know how to be alone. When her father passed away she needed to look for something or someone else that she could latch onto. “Homer soon becomes a popular figure in town and is seen taking Emily on buggy rides on Sunday afternoons, which scandalizes the town and increases the condescension and pity they have for Emily.” (Faulkner) When Homer started to come around and he started taking her out on dates, she thought to herself that he would be it. She went and bought rat poison and poisoned Homer. After they found Miss Emily dead they went and inspected her house. “The onlookers then notice the indentation of a head in the pillow beside Homer’s body and a long strand of Emily’s gray hair on the pillow.” (Faulkner) They soon found Homer in a bed along with an indent in a pillow with grey hair. They put two and two together and discovered that it was Miss Emily’s strands of hair. It is understood that no one wants to be along but some people take it to certain extents. I can share the same feeling of not wanting change with Emily because it’s the feeling of getting used to something different.
In a Rose For Emily, it comes to the conclusion that not everyone knows how to be alone. Some people act out in many different ways. Miss Emily’s reactions were much more out of the ordinary rather than others. Whether or not people realize it, life does go on with or without you.





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