Emily Grierson?' Need for Control in William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily

Emily Grierson?' Need for Control in William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily

Length: 915 words (2.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Emily Grierson's Need for Control in A Rose For Emily

In William Faulkner's "A Rose For Emily," Emily Grierson is a woman who is  used to being controlled by her father.  When her father dies, she believes that she has control over him.  Forced to lay her father to rest, Emily turns to her father's equivalent:  Homer Barron.  Emily soon finds that Homer does not plan on staying, so she decides to kill him.  By killing Homer, Emily believes that she can keep him and control him forever.  Emily Grierson wants to be in control but feels that she cannot tame the domineering men in her life, at least, not while they are alive, so she gains control of them after their demise.  

            One can clearly imagine the timid Emily standing behind her towering father.  "Miss Emily a slender figure in white in the background, her father a spraddled silhouette in the foreground, his back to her and clutching a horsewhip."  Emily's father not only dominates the portrait but dominates Emily as well.  Emily's father controls her every move.  She cannot date anyone unless her father approves, yet he never approves of any of the few men that do show interest in her.  "None of the young men were quite good enough for Miss Emily and such."  Unable to find a good enough suitor, Emily has no choice but to stay and care for her governing father.

            When her Father dies, Emily cannot bury him because she feels like she has finally tamed him.  Emily's father can no longer controll her.  With his demise, Emily is now in control of her life, and in control of her father.  The day after Emily's father died, the local women pay a visit to Emily.  "Miss Emily met them at the door, dressed as usual and with no trace of grief on her fac...

... middle of paper ...

... to keep him with her forever.  "And that was the last we saw of Homer Barron."  No one saw Homer alive again.         

            Clearly, Emily was tired of men controlling her, and although she could not control them while they were alive, she did have complete control over them when they died.  Thirty years after Homer's disappearance and after Emily's demise, the villagers made a gruesome discovery;  they found the remains of Homer, proving that Emily found a way to keep him and control him.  "For a long while we just stood there, looking down at the profound and fleshless grin."  Indeed, Emily kept her lover and controlled her lover for thirty years. 

Works Cited

Faulkner, William. "A Rose for Emily." The Norton Introduction to Literature. By Carl E. Bain, Jerome Beaty, and J. Paul Hunter. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 1991: 69-76.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Emily Grierson’s Need For Control in Faulkner’s A Rose for Emily Essays

- Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily,” illustrates the evolution of a small, post-Civil War community, as the new generation of inhabitants replaces the pre-Civil War ideals with more modern ideas. At the center of the town is Emily Grierson, the only remaining remnant of the upper class Grierson family, a “Southern gentlewoman unable to understand how much the world has changed around her.” (Kazin, 2). This essay will focus on Emily Grierson and her attempts to control change after her father’s death....   [tags: A Rose for Emily, William Faulkner]

Better Essays
1798 words (5.1 pages)

A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner Essay examples

- “A Rose for Emily” opens with a line that immediately tells the audience that the main character, Emily Grierson, lived a life that was on display; “When Emily Grierson died, our whole town went to her funeral” (Faulkner 119). The voyeurism that is evident throughout the story, following the life of the main character through the perspective of her watchful community, is introduced by the very first line. In Donaldson’s essay, she explains that many classic southern gothic tales “bring attention to the spectacle of a woman” (Donaldson 2), which is precisely what any reader of “A Rose for Emily” will find....   [tags: Emily Grierson, gothic literature]

Better Essays
1067 words (3 pages)

The Role of the Watch in William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily Essay

- The Role of the Watch in William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily Even the casual reader of William Faulkner will recognize the element of time as a crucial one in much of the writer's work, and the critical attention given to the subject of time in Faulkner most certainly fills many pages of criticism. A goodly number of those pages of criticism deal with the well-known short story, "A Rose for Emily." Several scholars, most notably Paul McGlynn, have worked to untangle the confusing chronology of this work (461-62)....   [tags: A Rose for Emily, William Faulkner]

Better Essays
1194 words (3.4 pages)

Symbolism and Theme in William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily Essay

- Symbolism and Theme in William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily    In William Faulkner's short story "A Rose for Emily," a series of interconnected events collectively represent a single theme in the story. Symbolism is the integral factor involved in understanding the theme. "A Rose for Emily's" dominant theme is the search for love and security, a basic human need which can be met unfavorably in equivocal environments. Faulkner's use of symbolism profoundly develops the theme of the story, bringing to light the issues of morality that arise from a young woman's struggle to find love....   [tags: A Rose for Emily, William Faulkner]

Better Essays
1470 words (4.2 pages)

Essay about Comparison of A Rose for Emily and The Possibility of Evil

- Comparison of A Rose for Emily and The Possibility of Evil In the short stories “A Rose For Emily,” by William Faulkner and “The Possibility of Evil,” by Shirley Jackson both authors create similar characters and settings that illustrate daring images of evil. Both Emily Grierson and Adela Strangeworth are women who share similar characteristics yet pose completely different motives. Their stories take place in close-knit towns, which play essential roles in their motives for evil. Emily Grierson and Adela Strangeworth demonstrate similarities and differences that develop their actions, revealing the possibility of evil within them....   [tags: William Faulkner Shirley Jackson Essays]

Better Essays
1172 words (3.3 pages)

The Need For Gun Control in America Essay examples

- The Second Amendment of The United States Constitution states, “[a] well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed." An AR-15 is semi automatic, high capacity firearm with a muzzle velocity of over three thousand feet per second. The rifle will fire as fast as one can pull the trigger. This commando style weapon, with high capacity magazines, in the hands of a mentally or emotionally unstable individual, is a recipe for disaster that could cause great harm and death to the innocent....   [tags: Pro Gun Control]

Better Essays
923 words (2.6 pages)

Character Analysis of Emily Grierson in A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner

- Emily Grierson, referred to as Miss Emily throughout the story, is the main character of 'A Rose for Emily,' written by William Faulkner. Emily is born to a proud, aristocratic family sometime during the Civil War; Miss Emily used to live with her father and servants, in a big decorated house. The Grierson Family considers themselves superior than other people of the town. According to Miss Emily's father none of the young boys were suitable for Miss Emily. Due to this attitude of Miss Emily's father, Miss Emily was not able to develop any real relationship with anyone else, but it was like her world revolved around her father....   [tags: A Rose Emily William Faulkner]

Better Essays
554 words (1.6 pages)

Essay on A Need for Gun Control but Not the Governments Form

- ... Firearms fatalities has decreased by twenty eight percent from 1993 to 2000 (“Gun”). In a perfect world nobody would have to die because of a crime, but this is not a perfect world. Even though it would be great for there to be no crime, murders, violence, and attacks, that is not the case. There will always be those things, so wouldn’t it be just a little bit better if most the people who had to experience those things were criminals. People who were already set on the path of destruction, that have full intent in hurting other people....   [tags: society, kill, control, crime]

Free Essays
656 words (1.9 pages)

William Faulkner 's A Rose For Emily And Charlotte Perkins Gilman 's The Yellow Wallpaper

- The origin of patriarchal control was defined by which men are stronger than women, so they acquired an ability to hunt in order to support the society. Women play an important role in growing population, yet they were just a “tool” of reproduction. To date, patriarchal control is prevalent and still a profound issue that women live to be obedient and serve men, especially in the late nineteenth century American society in which women cannot have their autonomy. In William Faulkner’s A Rose For Emily and Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper, both of these stories are depicting women under patriarchy from their father or husband, moreover, revealing the tragedy formed under this au...   [tags: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper]

Better Essays
875 words (2.5 pages)

Emily Grierson Living in the Past in William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily

- Emily Grierson Living in the Past in William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily    In "A Rose for Emily," by William Faulkner, Emily Grierson seems to be living with her father in what people referred to as the old South.  However, most of the story takes place after the Civil War, but Miss Emily is clearly living in the past.  As critic Frederick Thum pointed out, "Many people are able to survive in the present, but give little or no thought to the future, and these people usually live in the past.  Such a mind is the mind of Miss Emily Grierson..."(1).  Miss Emily's comprehension of death, her relationship with the townspeople, and her reaction toward her taxes are clear examples that she is li...   [tags: A Rose for Emily, William Faulkner]

Better Essays
1584 words (4.5 pages)