Isolation in "A Rose for Emily"

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Newton 1

K. Daniel Newton

Dr. Emily Stinson

English 1173, 08:00

18 Sept. 2014

Isolation in "A Rose for Emily"

In William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily," an unknown townsperson recalls the details of the tragic life and death of Emily Grierson. Emily grew up in a wealthy family in the South during the time period right after the Civil War. When she is 30, her father dies, and Emily begins spending time with a construction foreman from out of town, Homer Barron. Once Homer's work is completed, but before he can leave town and thereby reject Emily, she poisons and kills him. After her death 40 years later, Homer's body is discovered in her home in a long-abandoned bedroom, and it is learned that for some period of time, she had shared the bed with the corpse. Throughout the extensive timeline of the story, Emily experiences various levels of isolation that cause her to develop a severe dependency issues.

Because of the unique circumstances of Emily's life, she is all but fated to have dependency issues, and may even have a dependent personality disorder. It is likely that Emily's family had a history of mental illness, suggested by a reference to her great-aunt who "had gone completely crazy at last" (Faulkner 179). Her early life was completely controlled by an overbearing father who hid her from the world. Even after his death, she was all alone because she was held separate by the townsfolk because of her perceived social status. This combination caused Emily to live a life of isolation that even the most desperate of measures could not help.

Going so far as to chase away suitors, Emily's father holds complete control of her during her earlier life. Because of this, Emily becomes...