Character Analysis: A Rose for Emily
The focus of my character analysis of A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner will be the title character, Emily. The Emily character is established as the main focus of the story from the very beginning “When Miss Emily Grierson died, our whole town went to her funeral” (Faulkner, 2010, p.538). We are led to believe from her description that although she is from a prominent family, Emily does not fit the mold of a southern belle “We had long thought of them as a tableau; Miss Emily a slender figure in white in the background” (Faulkner, 2010, p.538), “So when she got to be thirty and was still single, we were not pleased exactly, but vindicated” (Faulkner, 2010, p.538).
Faulkner fulfills the southern gothic characteristic by exaggerating the appearance of Emily throughout the story. It is when the town alderman comes to see Emily about an unpaid tax bill that you get a glimpse into her appearance. “a small, fat woman in black, with a thin gold chain descending to her waist and vanishing into her belt, leaning on an ebony cane with a tarnished gold head.” (Faulkner, 2010, p.538). The author when making mention of her size called her obese “Her skeleton was small and spare; perhaps that was why what would have been merely plumpness in another was obesity in her.” (Faulkner, 2010, p.538). Faulkner makes several mentions about how big Emily’s character is to emphasize her large appearance.
The voice of Emily was very cold and stern. During the visit by the town alderman to try and collect on an overdue tax bill, Emily’s voice was quote “Her voice was dry and cold” (Faulkner, 2010, p.538). Emily brushed off the alderman when they came to visit her about the tax bill. “I have no taxes in Jefferson. Colonel Sartoris explained it to me. Perhaps one of you can gain access to the city records and satisfy yourselves.” (Faulkner, 2010, p.538). Emily was an emotionless woman. Not even the death of her own father...
References: Faulkner, William, 1930, “A Rose for Emily”, Literature: A World of Writing Stories, Poems, Plays, and Essays VitalSource eBook for South University
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