Given the fact that Charlie and Helen had had a fight that ended up with Helen locked out in the cold, and that this fight led to Helen's death, it is not self-righteous of Marion to be suspicious of Charlie. Her sister is the one who died as a result of this argument. To be fair, both Charlie and Helen were drunk when the fight took place, and they ran with a hard-partying crowd. The fact remains, though, that Charlie is still single, and while it seems that he has turned his back on his former days, the fact that his drunk friends still show up on a night at the Peters' apartment, when Charlie should have been the most cautious of all, means that he has still not taken care to separate that former life from his present – and his future. Because Honoria lost her mother to this culture, Marion is taking extra care to make sure that Honoria can stay far away from it. While Marion does not remind me of anyone whom I have encountered, her response makes sense to me. Charlie may be right to think that “Helen wouldn't have wanted him to be so alone,” (Fitzgerald 239) but he has not done enough to prepare his life for Honoria to be in it.
No matter how serpentine Granny Weatherall's logic becomes, as she becomes more and more disjointed from reality, the fact of the letters lying in wait for others to read – both from her and to her, from the romantic entanglements in her life may be the most concrete sign that what Granny Weatherall feels she deserves is not close to what she will ultimate get. It may be “[n]o use to let [the children] know how silly she had been once” (Porter 243), but the fact is that once she passes away, the letters will remain for them to read. When my great-grandfather became close to death, he did not lose consciousness in the sense of passing in and out of sleep, but he did move from talking to us to talking to people from his distant path, as if he were moving in and out of different realities, or spirits were moving in and out of the room among us.
It is true that Miss Emily has committed a gruesome crime, although whether the murder itself or spending the next decades sleeping next to a decaying corpse is more grotesque is certainly a matter of discussion. The cruel treatment that her father used to keep suitors away until she had aged to a point of unattractiveness, combined with his poor provision for her prospects as an aging spinster, makes her more of an object of pity than a suspect on the next “Dateline” true crime section. The tawdry china-painting lessons notwithstanding, Miss Emily had spent her years as a debutante standing behind her father, “a spraddled silhouette in the foreground, his back to her and clutching a horsewhip,” (Faulkner) and now has no means. Her taxes were forgiven for perpetuity by Colonel Sartoris, and modern attempts to reinstate those taxes were just one reason that the town found her a burden – but also a curiosity. It is this amusement at this relic of an older time that informs the sympathetic tone.
Faulkner, William. “A Rose for Emily.” http://www.eng.fju.edu.tw/English_Literature/Rose/el-text-E-
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. “Babylon Revisited.” LITR221 American Literature Since the Civil War.
Edition. McGraw-Hill, 2012. 226-239. E-book.
Hughes, Langston. “The Negro Speaks of Rivers.” LITR221 American Literature Since the Civil War.
Create Edition. McGraw-Hill, 2012. 222. E-book.
Porter, Katherine Anne. “The Jilting of Granny Weatherall.” LITR221 American Literature Since the
Civil War. Create Edition. McGraw-Hill, 2012. 242-248. E-book.