William Falukner

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2002

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In William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily," Faulkner portrays Emily Gierson as a round character by giving great detail as to why Emily behaves in the manner she does. The situation between Miss Emily and the town's people could be seen as ambiguous. Miss Emily's indeterminate demeanor is due to the varying interpretations by the towns people and by her own perception of herself. This ambiguity is depicted in the following sentence: " People in the town, remembering how old lady Wyatt, her great-aunt, had gone completely crazy at last, believed that the Giersons held themselves a little to high for what they really were." Emily's behavior is an indicator of her strange psychosis, inability to distinguish past from present, and her manifest appearance to the town's people.

A psychosis is a major mental disorder in which a personality is very seriously disorganized and contact with reality is usually impaired.

Some would say that this disorder was experienced by Emily and was leading factor in her decision to kill Homer Baron. Emily's father's overprotective tendencies led Emily to believe that she was better than any of her young suitors. Eventually the chance for Emily to marry passed, due to her growing age. Then when she did find Homer who she was happy with he did not want to wed her. Over time, the beliefs of her father had nursed a deep and abiding psychosis that led her to murder the over that scorned her.

Emily's inability to distinguish the past from the present can be seen in to different ways throughout the story. For example, Emily's reluctance to pay her taxes is an indication of this theory. In addition, Emily's refusal of the neighbors' proposal to bury her father led Emily to hold onto him for three days...