The Role Of Grief In William Faulkner's A Rose For Emily

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Grief often excuses behavior that, under any other circumstances, would be considered abnormal. The mental and emotional state of a person experiencing grief is far different from that of a person who is not experiencing grief. Therefore, the behavior of the grief-stricken will undoubtedly be different from that of their counterparts. Although their actions may go against cultural norms and/or expectations, people will usually accept this behavior because of the belief that it is simply part of their grieving process. In “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner, the main character Emily Grierson struggles to overcome the many tragedies she has experienced in her life, and in doing so, goes insane. Emily’s earliest questionable behavior comes…show more content…
The town even believes they will be married. Homer leaves the area after her relatives come to visit, but he is back within three days. After this, he enters Emily’s house one last time before he is never seen again. Later, Emily asks for arsenic from a druggist's shop, but does not explain her reasons for needing it. The town simply comes to the conclusion that she will use the arsenic to commit suicide. They have already realized that her mental state is deteriorating, so they believe it is in her best interest to do so. Evidently she does not go through with this; they do not find out what she did with the poison until after her death. At first, I didn’t realize the subtle warning signs of the effects of Emily's unstable mental health throughout the story. It was not until I had reread the story that I began to see what was implied. One warning sign was "the smell" that begins to emanate from Emily’s house shortly after Homer Barron briefly abandons her. Because of her reputation of being unstable and irrational, the city authorities are unable to approach her about it. Instead, they send four men to try and eradicate it themselves. No one seems to question the object from which the smell originates, which seems suspicious enough as it

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