The Role of Men in: "A Rose for Emily"

Essay by cheathouse1University, Bachelor's September 2006

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Based on two reading of Faulkner's story there is one central conflict that is all the men in Emily's life. In the short storyA Rose for Emily, Faulkner uses the role of male figures in Emily's life to provide important character traits. The two men in her life, her father, Mr. Grierson and her boyfriend Homer Barron lead her to become a shelled up, introverted and mysterious woman. Emily's father is her first and most influential male figure, providing the foundation for her "insane"-type behavior in later years. Homer Barron comes along later and forces Emily to revisit the tyranny of her father and the negative experiences she had with men in her past. The relationship Emily had with her father in her early years led her to have faulty relationships with men and even humans in general throughout her entire life.

From the beginning of the story the reader gets the idea that the Grierson family is one of nobility and importance in Jefferson.

Mr., Grierson apparently struck a deal with Mayor Colonel Sartoris that the Grierson family would not have to pay taxes until the death of Miss Emily. This deal is one that Emily believes is to be kept, but the town quickly forgets it, showing that Mr. Grierson has put a strong sense of superiority into Emily. She believes it is to be kept, no matter what, because her family struck the deal.

Mr. Grierson is very obviously old South. His attitude towards women, as evident in the treatment of his daughter, reflects his old-fashioned ways and his inability, or his lack of desire, to move on into the future. Throughout Miss Emily's childhood, her father believed that none of the men were quite good enough for Miss Emily. Mr. Grierson did not...