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A Rose For Emily Synopsis

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A Rose for Emily Synopsis
*Warning, there is some sarcasm*

Miss Emily, a woman heavily pursued by men in Jefferson, was once a beautiful lady, in her time. Her father, however, wouldn’t let her marry, because he didn’t want to let her go. So he chased away all the suitors who came to see her, and throughout his life she was never married. But then he passed away, and it was Emily’s turn to not let go. At first, she was in a deep state of denial for his death, but after a few days it all sunk in, and she wouldn’t let the town council bury him immediately; because she didn’t want to let him go. When they did bury him, she fell into a period of illness, depression and isolation. She was pitied by the townspeople constantly, which is possibly why she wouldn’t let them nail a mailbox onto her door. She lost the only thing she had, and so she never left her house, and never saw people. The only person who was seen coming and going from her house was her servant. Miss Emily kept a portrait of her father which is clearly described; he had his back to her and was clutching a horsewhip, which is likely what he used to chase away the men why pursued her. The picture was dark and shadowed and didn’t seem to portray a happy memory of her father.

Then, she met Homer Barron, a large, tan-skinned man from the North who was popular among the townspeople of Jefferson, due to his sense of humor. Miss Emily and Homer Barron spent a lot of time together, driving around in his vehicle (sounds kind of like a typical teenage date in modern times). Soon they spent time together at Miss Emily’s home, and who knows what went on there. The people of Jefferson stirred up some rumors that the two were going to be married, and there was constantly excited chatter going about, because this object of pity was now going to find happiness. Not quite. Homer Barron didn’t want to marry; he was more of an independent man. So one day, Homer went into Emily’s house—but was never seen again. Curious, eh? Well, days afterward a putrid smell began to develop, that of something dead maybe.
Now, rewind. Before Homer’s ‘disappearance’, Emily visited the town pharmacy for some poison. When the pharmacist asked what her intentions were with this poison, she wouldn’t answer. So he wrote ‘for rats’ on the bottle. From here you can see what happened to Mr. Homey. The smell progressed for weeks, which aroused ;) complaints from the townsfolk, but the council wouldn’t do anything. I mean, they can’t just go “Hey, lady, you smell like dead rats.” So, whatever. Emily never left her house after that, and she lost all of her attributes. Her hair grayed, she gained weight, and she was no longer seen as the prize all men wanted. Then one day, she died. What a shame.

The town council came to her home to find out what the smell was after she passed. Inside, there were layers of dust on all the furniture and the rancid smell that enveloped them like a dark cloud seemed to be strongest by the stairs. They went upstairs and checked all the rooms, but one door was blocked off. They forced their way inside and BOOM it was her bedroom. On the bed lay a corpse that had rotted into the sheets, with the clothes still encasing it. On the pillow next to him was an indent and a gray hair. So here we discover that she had been sleeping next to him for all these years.

The question is, why? She didn’t want to be alone again; she’d already lost her father and she didn’t want to lose anything else because she literally had nothing. She wouldn’t let go of Homer just as her father wouldn’t let go of her. I believe that her father’s behavior reflected on hers and caused her to be this way, as well as a mental disorder or two. She misinterpreted the difference between reality and death, and also had a misperception of time. Remember, at the beginning, she kept talking about a previous mayor named Colonel Sartoris? Well, he’d been dead for almost 10 years. To me it seems like she lived in her own world where time didn’t exist and she could keep all her happy times… by hoarding dead bodies. This imaginary world without time is symbolized by the ticking watch that Miss Emily kept around her neck.

So, Miss Emily had some mental issues, as do many characters in poems and short stories. Now, we studied this in my grade 11 English class, so I had a little too much time to dwell on the concept of the story. There were also review questions, and one asked about the name ‘Homer Barron’. I believe that the name ‘Homer’ portrays ‘home’ which is something safe, comfortable and familiar that Miss Emily desired. The name ‘Barron’ could mean ‘high class’ which is also something that Emily looked for, and something she was.

Miss Emily is sometimes described as a ‘fallen monument’; because before Homer died (or before she likely poisoned him) she was beautiful and desired, but after him she fell into a state of misery and apparent ugliness. By ‘monument’ I think of an idol or celebrity who was once loved and cherished and was famous for beauty and popularity. Perhaps she was also a reminder of her father who was rich and well-known in the area.

So to summarize this all up, Miss Emily was a pitied woman, who didn’t understand the concept of time and had troubles letting go of people because she had nothing else. In essence it is about a woman who had nothing.
Damn writers.



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