Emily Grierson: Fall From Grace

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Emily Grierson: Fall from Grace Emily Grierson, the main character in William Faulkner’s 1931 short story "A Rose for Emily" is found lifeless and along with her death comes a startling discovery. It is all that the rattled townspeople can whisper about while attending her funeral, years after his disappearance, the remains of Homer Barron had finally been found inside her home in one of the upstairs bedrooms. There is no doubt that she not only killed the man, presumably by poisoning him with arsenic, but it seems that she also maintained a morbid relationship with his corpse. Miss Emily is a murderer, yes, but this does not make her a villain; she was merely a victim of circumstances that drove her to kill. Her overprotective…show more content…
“We had long thought of them as a tableau, 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, the two of them framed by the back-flung front door” (Faulkner 36). Here, we are able to visualize the power dynamic between them, Emily, an innocent, pure creature behind her father. His presence serves as a barrier between Emily and everyone else. With his dominant stance, he holds a horsewhip, a threat to not only the outside world, but to Emily as well. She was considered more as property as opposed to a daughter, and since she belonged to a more distinguished league than most people, he preferred for her to be alone. Her only interaction is with him. We can only imagine what abuse took place behind closed doors. Regardless of the method of abuse, she was a traumatized human being, who grew attached to her captor even going as far as keeping his body in her home for three days after his death. All her life Emily was her father’s prisoner and continued to be even after his parting, his watchful eye present in a crayon portrait in front of the fireplace. How different would her life have been had she had a mother figure in her home? Given the importance of a woman marrying in this time, surely a mother would have welcomed suitors asking for her daughter’s

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