Rose For Emily The Reason the main character, Emily Grierson, in William Faulkners “A Rose for Emily” murdered her lover, Homer Barron, was a combined contribution of the society she lived in. The cousins snootiness and high expectations of the Grierson family legacy made it difficult for Emily and Homer to be together as a couple. “The two female cousins were more Grierson than Miss Emily had ever been.” (5) The cousins would keep Emily in line because they were more aristrocatic, therefore forcing Emily into keeping the family name pure by not being with a labor worker who often got drunk and liked men. The cousins had a talk with Emily, which drove Homer out for a short period of time. For fear of Homer leaving her, she ventured to the local pharmacy to purchase arsenic (then used as rat poison) for what she believed might be the only way to keep the man she loved from leaving her. Emilys father scared all her suitors away, believing that she was too good for all of them, which in turn left her single at a very old age.
Emilys over-possessive, father traumatized her into believing that she would be alone all of her life. “The Patrimony of a man destroys Emily as her father smothers her with over-protectiveness. He prevents her from courting anymore” (Internet 1). Her father never gave her the opportunity of a happy, joyful family life, which every person deserves. Her father never gave her the opportunity of a happy, joyful family life, which every person deserves.
When her father died and she found someone she liked, she instantly became attached to this man and was not willing to let him go. “Emily decides she will be vindictive, she will have her man”(Internet 2). Emily chose the first man possible in a sort of way to lash back at the father who never allowed her to have what she desired the most, companionship. With her father now deceased, she had complete freedom in choosing and keeping any suitor she found acceptable. Having never had the opportunity, Emily had no concept of how to treat and be a companion to the opposite sex. This would explain the unbreakable attachment to the first man who came along, Homer Barron.
In a way she took what she could get at that moment thinking that there might never be another chance for her again, therefore she settled for Homer Barron. All of the towns pity, gossip, and assumptions about Emily and her family brought on more stress and insanity about keeping the Grierson name aristocratic and clean. In essence, she was living up to the family standards set by that of her local society. “Her father and the townsfolk that see her as an untouchable idol perpetrate this dementia; the loneliness that they force her to endure is maddening” (Internet 1). At times the town felt sorrow for her and had thoughts of consoling her but never actually put them into action.
They always let her endure everything she was suffering on her own. Although they no longer had any reason to be, the women of the town still felt a pang of jealousy towards her family aristocracy and history. The women, to satisfy their own consciences, acted as if they actually felt sympathy for Emily, where in all honesty, not a single one cared for her in any way. The town merely wanted to put up a false front. Homer Baron, who was very inconsiderate and casual about her past, contributed to his own murder.
Homer Barron was a bi-sexual, Yankee, drunk who was going to leave her after he had his way with her. She knew this from the towns gossip and she was growing more and more insecure about Homer. “We can imagine, however the outcome might have been had Homer Barron, who was not the marrying man, succeeded, in the towns eyes, in seducing her and then deserting her.” (Short Story criticisms 150) Homer was seen drinking at the bar with men and it was known that he was interested in men. Homer was never really intending to stay long term with Emily. He was just a passer by who was only there for road construction. “And when she lost him she could see that for her that was the end of life, there was nothing left except to grow older, alone, solitary.” (Internet 2) The thing she feared the most was being alone with no companion. Emily had endured all of this from her father too long and she was not going to stand for this. Emilys Insanity and loneliness drove her to murder her lover and keep him in a room where she could rest at ease that he would never leave her. “Denied a normal Romantic and sexual life, Emily becomes unable to distinguish between reality and illusion” (Modern fiction stories 687).
She was to the point where to her having a dead lover was more secure to her than having a live one who might leave her at any moment. She wanted security and she obtained it by killing Homer and sleeping with him every night. She wanted to keep time still. Emily had a problem with time. “Emilys small room above the stairs has become that timeless meadow.
In it, the living Emily and the dead Homer have remained together not even death could separate them.”(Short Story Criticism 150) Even when her father died she was unwilling to accept his departure. She refused to have him buried.