William Faulkner, the author of the edition ‘A Rose for Emily’ has written a story covering the life of Emily Grierson. Emily was initially a vibrant girl in her early ages but changed as she grew older. She is a spinster who resided in the south. William Faulkner has used flashback in this story to show the past activities that happened in the life of Emily (William 1). These activities took place in a place called Jefferson. This place is situated in a county called Yoknapatawpha.
The relationship between the people in the town and Emily starts even before the death of Emily’s father. Her father, Mr. Grierson, was very conservative when it came to matters concerning her daughter’s marriage. He wanted to hold good control of her. It is for this reason that Emily’s father did not entertain those who came to ask for a hand in marriage (William 1). He thought that most of the suitors were not good for her daughter. Some of the town people started having a remorseful attitude towards Emily and her father. They also thought that this family had pride.
After some time, Emily’s father died and she could hardly believe it. It took her about four days to fully accept this reality. It is after her father’s death that emerged more chronological events that affected her stay in Jefferson. There was nothing to be inherited from her father (William 1). At that time, the mayor for Jefferson was Colonel Sartoris. The people living in the town of Jefferson were required to pay taxes. However, Colonel Sartoris exempted Emily from paying taxes. He argued that Emily’s father had made monetary contribution by lending money to the town. This did not come with any good result since it faced a lot of opposition from the people living in the town and the leaders (William 1). The leaders in the town told the former mayor that Emily should pay her taxes.
According to the narrator of this story, the townspeople as well as the leaders felt that Emily should pay tax regardless of the fact that her father was dead. The leadership of the town of Jefferson was taken over by new people. The narrator shows that the new leaders did not pardon Emily on the issue of tax payment. At this point, she was paid visit by members of a board responsible for tax collection. She stressed that she should not pay taxes. She tells the members of the board to ask the former mayor about the issue and it is later found out that Colonel Sartoris had been dead for almost ten years.
In this story, William tells of a man, Homer Barron, from the north, who is the boss of a construction company. This company was awarded the contract to pave the sidewalks in the south. It is in this process that Homer and Emily meet and start having an affair. This relationship raises the eyebrows of many people in the town. Many people objected to Emily’s action of being in a relationship with a person from the north. Despite these talks from the town people, Emily did not look back. This made her to have a bad reputation in Jefferson (William 1).
The narrator explains what happens to Emily at the age of seventy four. This was the age at which she died. Before then, she had been living a life of loneliness and she had little contact with the outsiders. The narrator also explains what happened after the death of this lonely old woman. The burial service was attended by some elders and women. Most people went to see her body since they had not seen her for a long time. On entering Emily’s house, they found the body of Homer after forty years of disappearance. This was shocking to the townspeople. It was now obvious that the arsenic that had been bought by Emily was used to kill Homer (William 1).
The attitude of the narrator is different from that of the townspeople in that he is pitiful at some point. The narrator feels that the actions of Emily to keep her father’s body and that of Homer were forced by circumstances. She kept her father’s body since she couldn’t believe that he was dead (William 1). More so, she killed Homer and kept him so that he would not depart from her due to the gossips in the town. Homer’s body was still in her house for forty years and this means that she was sleeping with it. She prevented the forces of gossips and judgment of the townspeople from taking Homer from her.
The narrator also argues that the cause of Emily’s mental problems is that her aunt was suffering from mental illness. Furthermore, her father and the former mayor were dead. These were the only people on her side, unlike the townspeople. Unfortunately, the people on her side were all dead and now she was left with no other option but to kill Homer and keep his body in order to be with him for the rest of her life. Finally, the narrator does not view Emily as a mad woman but a recluse who does not take loss of life to be loss of relationship. She believes that even after death, relationships still exist.
William Faulkner. A Rose for Emily. Retrieved from: http://www.cummingsstudyguides.net/Guides5/Rosefor.html. 2010. Print.