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Emily's defiance - Essay Example

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Date Emily's defiance “A Rose for Emily” is a tale that covers several decades in the life of Emily Grierson, who is the protagonist. The standpoint in the story is that of generations of observers in Emily’s town who have observed and conjectured about her since she was under the care of her father described as controlling…
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Emilys defiance
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Download file to see previous pages Although the protagonist in the story, Miss Emily may appear outwardly quiet and reserved in the confines of her home, her blatant rebellious personal to her family's wishes and her communities serves as a subtle symbol for the gradual decline and eventual decay of American's Southern aristocracy at the end of the Civil War. Miss Emily finds it hard to come to terms with the idea of death. Consequently, she suffers a great deal of denial. After her father’s death, the townspeople anticipated her to be grieved but regrettably she is not. She told the visitors “her father was not dead” (Faulkner 2162). Instead, she stated that her father was still alive. From the story, it is clear that grieving is better than ignoring it. The story happens in the South, during a period characterized by radical political change and racial discrimination. Emily’s eccentric and inconsistent behavior becomes outright peculiar. Like the townspeople, one is left wondering how she would live and sleep with Homer Barron’s corpse for years on end. At first, the townspeople never thought she suffered from mental illness; they “did not say she was crazy” (Faulkner 2162). However, as the story comes to an end, it becomes clear that she was not thinking straight. It is reasonable to state that Emily developed this state as a response to the challenging conditions she underwent as a Southern woman from an aristocratic background. As it appears, she was not able to develop strong and adaptive defensive mechanism to help her cope with life. In detail, Miss Emily was from a family endowed with enormous wealth and stature in their little Southern community yet she had always been burdened with the immense expectations that the society had of her. The community saw her as possessing a “hereditary obligation” (Faulkner 2160) to keep up with certain traditions, which had been instituted numerous generations before her. Her father had the mandate to transmit such values and traditions. Nonetheless, he was rigid in the way he reinforced these expectations. As the narrator states, as a man he had “thwarted her woman’s life so many times” (Faulkner 2164). For instance, he chased all of Emily’s suitors away because he never saw one that was good enough for his daughter. Consequently, she never married. Despite her father’s oppressiveness, Miss Emily’s mental state declines even the more. As the narrator states, Emily became “sick for a long time” (Faulkner 2162). This is the time that Emily starts to avoid contact with the community. The townspeople also do not confront Emily about any essential issues, for instance, the terrible smell that emanates from her home. The smell was becoming “detached, superseded, and forbidding” (Ruthmann 87) each day. The novel generation of townspeople wants to support the idea that they confront Miss Emily directly but Judge Stevens forbids it by saying, “will you accuse a lady to her face of smelling bad?” (Faulkner 2162). He though the smell was a body odor. The young generation gives in, and those responsible for such concerns sneak into the lady’s basement surreptitiously to eliminate the odor by spreading lime. To conclude, it is clear that although Miss Emily may appear outwardly quiet and reserved in the confines of her home, her blatant rebellious personal to her family's wishes and her communities serves as a ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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