In William Faulkner’s story “A Rose for Emily,” Miss Emily Grierson is a struggling character struggling with herself, her family and town. The struggle makes her act abnormally, deranged and inhuman. The stories title is an allegory Emily suffered a total tragedy, the kind that is irrevocably. Nothing could be done for her other that pity, thus Faulkner gives her a rose to salute her for her tribulations (Jelliffe, 70). Certainly, the root of her suffering was being the only child of her parents.
Being the only child left her no choice but to always be available to her father’s call. In fact the gossip by the townspeople held it is her father who shaped her action, action that we totally strange to humans. Emily could have found herself a good husband but her father did not allow her to venture out and find one. He demanded that she stay around and take care of him. Certainly, if she had had another sibling, probably they would have shared the responsibility of caring for their father and rose would have hard a chance to pursue her own happiness. However, her father character could still have provided a difficult obstacle.
Staying at home and taking care of her father denied her basic socialization skill necessary to interact with other people. Her father was very strict and did not allow her to see anyone. This actually denied her that ability to find herself a suitable husband thus leaving her to opt for the wrong choice of a husband the combination of manipulative force from her father, the town’s people and herself served to shape her into what she was (Brooks & Warren 158). He father literally ran off any man that came to see her and with time she became totally dependent on the father. He was her shield shielding her from the rest of the world. Faulkner clear presents this in a work of art, a portrait presenting Emily as slender figure dressed in white at the background and her father in foreground, “a spraddle silhouette” figure (Faulkner, 668).
The writer does not present to the reader any information concerning her mother. The father seems to be everything in her life and when he passes away, Emily is left alone. She seem to have lost her brother, her father, her, mother, sister and best friend all of which she had in the single person in the name of a father. She remains confused she is left alone have lived a life sheltered from the society with her guardian angle further who provided everything. She even considers him not being dead making the town’s people confused. She however accepts to burry him when people are just about to take legal action on this issue.
It is after her father’s death the detrimental effect of being sheltered from her father become apparent. To her illusion and reality has blurred out. Brooks & Warren 158 note this when Emily refuse to pay tax not recognizing the serving mayor demanding to an audience with Colonel Sartoris, who had died ten years earlier. She final falls in love with Homer a commoner making the rest of the people feel that she is at their level (Faulkner, 670). However, due to the fear of loosing her the way she los her father she decides to poison him feeling that killing him is the only way she would kill him forever. This was because she had been sheltered by her father through out her life and she had never experienced love before. She thus never wanted the feeling to subside and being a poor lover she thought that poisoning Homer is the only way she could keep him forever
Certainly, being the only child with no mother might have made her father adopt the kind of protective behavior he did exhibit. Something might have happened previously that made him behave the way he did. although the behaviors was intended to protect Emily it ended up being detrimental to he social life making her totally dependant on her father that in his absence she became confused helpless and irrational making many of the town’s people to perceive her as a mad or crazy woman (Fielder 142).