"A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner.

Essay by mannypCollege, UndergraduateB, June 2003

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There are many important external factors and influences that govern people's lives and the way they live, for instance, one's position in society and reputation within it establish the social hierarchy; the social values, beliefs and customs maintained in the community determine how a person is judged; and the general environment that surrounds the subject resolves his or her views and perceptions on life. In "A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner these factors ultimately mold the development of the short story.

The main character, Miss Emily, is greatly influenced from her early childhood through the first half or so of her life by her father. After her father dies, instead of living her life in her own manner, she continues to follow his peculiar ways. She lives not only by her father's standards but also her family's, she must live up to the grand Grierson family name.

She is cast into the lime light of the town. Her father controls her by treating her as his puppet, he decides what and what not she does.

Emily's position in the community is that of a mysterious yet respected figure, she belongs to the privileged class. Her family tradition and recognition runs her way of relating herself to others in society, she is always regarded - even by herself - as superior. When Colonel Sartoris disregards Miss Emily's taxes, she feels as this is a deserved reward for her supposed father's loans to the town. Although she is revered, the townspeople disagree with the Colonel and have dissonant opinions about her; except for Negro, Emily has hardly anyone to trust and rely on. She lives separate from the outer world.

Miss Emily has a reputation of being an eccentric, asocial and disturbed woman; she is the epiphany of...