A Reader Response Critique for A Rose for Emily
“What was left of him, rotted beneath what was left of the nightshirt, had become inextricable from the bed in which he lay,” (Faulkner). The author of A Rose for Emily, William Faulkner, was born in 1897 and died in 1962 (“William Faulkner – Biography”). His writing and style in A Rose for Emily is greatly reflected upon the fact that he grew up in a southern family from Mississippi (“William Faulkner – Biography”). The short story A Rose for Emily tells a story about how she had a very strict father with a strong presence in her life and even after his death she could not let go of him, this also affects her love life and causes her ‘Sweethearts’ demise.
In A Rose for Emily we can learn many things from the characters actions, secrets, and anthropologists. To begin, there are many actions within A Rose for Emily that stand out. One of these actions is when Emily rarely went out when her father died. Proof of this can be found in section two, paragraph two, of the short story. The passage states “After her father’s death she went out very little,” (Faulkner).
This just goes to prove that Emily was sad after her father died and could not let him go. At her father’s funeral she didn’t look sad. Proof of this can be found in section two, paragraph fourteen, of the text. It states “Miss Emily met them at the door, dressed as usual and with no trace of grief on her face,” (Faulkner). From this specific example we can learn that Miss Emily as not close to others but we can learn from this in general is that Miss Emily was very alone, could not let go of her father, and she did not share her feelings with anyone.
To continue, there are many secrets hidden within the text in A Rose for Emily. In the story there is this smell and no one knows where it came from. Then one day that smell just disappeared and no one knew what happened to make the smell go away. An example of this can be found in section two, paragraph one. In this passage it states “After a week or two the smell went away,” (Faulkner). No one ever knows what exactly happened to make the smell go away and you don’t figure out what caused the smell until the very end.
More secrets hidden in the text can be found when the author talks of the pillow and strand of gray hair. Proof of this can be found in section five, paragraph six of the text. According to the text it states “Then we noticed that in the second pillow was the indentation of a head…we saw a long strand of iron gray hair,” (Faulkner). This hints that Miss Emily slept next to her ‘sweetheart’s’ corpse. Furthermore, there are many aspects of anthropologists in A Rose for Emily.
A good example of anthropologists is when the men go to Miss Emily’s funeral out of respect and the women go out of curiosity. Proof of this can be found in section one, paragraph one. The passage says “The men out of respectful affection…the women mostly out of curiosity to see the inside of her house,” (Faulkner). This shows the gender difference in the time period that the story takes place. Another good example is when African Americans are referred to as ‘Negro’ in the story. Proof of this can be found in section one, paragraph five.
In this passage it states “They were admitted by the old Negro,” (Faulkner). This shows the cultural time period of the story. To put it briefly, the story A Rose for Emily has many things that can be learned from the characters actions, secrets, and anthropologists. From this paper people can learn more about the story A Rose for Emily. What’s significant about this story is how strong the bond Miss Emily had with her father and how tight of a hold he had on her. It was so tight that even after death her father affected her actions.
Work Cited Faulkner, William, and Noel Polk. A Rose for Emily. Print. “William Faulkner – Biography”. Nobelprize.org.
18 Oct 2011 ;http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1949/faulkner-bio.html;