Tuesday, July 31, 2012

"A Rose for Emily"

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Reaction Essay to “A Rose for Emily”

“A Rose for Emily” was written by William Faulkner, and published in 11. This story is about a single lady living in a rundown house, with only her Negro servant Tobe to count on. The town of Jefferson wants money for taxes, her place cleaned up, and to get rid of the nasty smell coming from her house. Although most of the town dislikes Mrs. Emily, a select few have respect for her. No matter what time of the day it is there is some new gossip being spread throughout the streets about Mrs. Emily. The town finds Mrs. Emily as a burden upon them all. In the end, they find Mrs. Emily not only to be a burden upon the town of Jefferson, but a murder too. Emily Grierson was demented, selfish, and well talked about in the town of Jefferson.

Mrs. Emily was demented in many different ways. When her father died, she refused to accept it. She kept the dead body for days, until the town said they were going to resort to law enforcement. Only then did she let them bury him. After this little incident, the town tried sending letters to Mrs. Emily telling her she needed to pay her taxes. After many attempts that led them nowhere, they sent two men to her house. After trying to persuade Mrs. Emily she needed to pay her taxes she replied, “I have no taxes in Jefferson. Colonel Sartoris explained it to me. Perhaps one of you can gain access to the city records and satisfy yourselves.” (Pg ) After the men and her argued for several minutes she still concluded, “See Colonel Sartoris. I have no taxes in Jefferson.” (Pg 0)

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Not only was she demented, but also she was selfish. She made a trip to the druggist one day to buy some poison. She told him she wanted the best he had. Mrs. Emily told him she wanted Arsenic. The druggist replied, “If that’s what you want. But the law requires you to tell what you are going to use it for.” (Pg) Mrs. Emily did not reply, she just stared at him. The druggist sold her the Arsenic anyways. In this case, Mrs. Emily was being selfish because she would not tell the druggist what she was planning to use the poison for. She put his job in jeopardy without any second thoughts. Mrs. Emily felt as if she was better than everyone else. She thought she needed no reason for her actions, and acted as if the town owed her something.

Another example of her showing her selfish attitude was with Homer Barron. He was part of a construction crew that came to the town for a short time. Mrs. Emily and Homer hit it off from the start. For some reason they took a liking to each other. When it came time for Homer to leave Mrs. Emily was not very happy. She used the poison she bought at the druggist and poisoned Homer Barron so he could never leaver her house. No on in the town new what she did, they just thought that homer had left for good.

“Alive, Miss Emily had been a tradition, a duty, and a care; a sort of hereditary obligation upon the town.” (Pg ) The town loved to gossip about Mrs. Emily. Her every move was watched by the nosy towns people. It was as if she was in a movie and she was the main character. People tried to talk to her servant Tobe, but he just ignored them and acted as if he had nothing to say. The whole town new about her buying the Arsenic.


They all concluded saying, “She will kill herself.” (Pg) The towns people also said it would be the best thing if she did kill herself. This showed that the town was tired of putting up with her and most everyone was ready for her to pass on.

In the end, she did die. The entire town came to her funeral. The men came for respectful affection for a fallen moment and the women just out of curiosity to see the inside of her house.

Mrs. Emily was like a landmark; no one could get rid of her. She was demented and very selfish, yet she lived a tragic life. Her only close kin, her father, died leaving her all to her self in a big house. She had a reason to be confused in the head. Over a long period of time she only was able to have two friends, one of which she killed. The other was just a black servant who she depended on. If Mrs. Emily would have moved on, and tried to make friends after her fathers death she might not of ended up dead so soon.

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Work Cited

Faulkner, William. “A Rose for Emily.” Literature An Introduction to Fiction, and Drama. Kennedy, X.J., and Dana Gioia, eds. New York Longman, 00. 8-5

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