.. r in a much different way. The townspeople thought that Emily was crazy. For three day, Miss Emily denied to the town that her father was not dead. The storyteller says, “Just as they were about to resort to law and force, she broke down, and they buried her father quickly,” After this, the townspeople begin to wonder if Emily was playing with a full deck.
“The narrator indicates plainly enough that people felt that she was crazy.” (Brooks & Warren 158) The reader finds out that Miss Emily has become the type of person where “realty and illusion has blurred out.” (Brooks & Warren 158) This is apparent to the reader during the tax situation with the new Board of Aldermen. Miss Emily refuses to pay taxes to the town. The mayor of the town begins to protest about her refusal to pay the city. However, Miss Emily does not even identify him as the mayor of the town. A committee from the town comes over to Miss Emilys home.
She tells the committee to talk with Colonel Sartoris. The reader finds out that he had been died for ten years. However to her, he was still alive. Faulkner used this comparison between illusion and reality to show how Miss Emily was impacted by her closed and sheltered life. (Brooks & Warren 158) Emily began to live like a commoner.
During this era, status was a very important thing. The name of Grierson was very noted in the community. For many generations, the Grierson Family lived solely off their name. ” A principal contrast [in this story] is between past times and present times: the past as represented by Emily herself, in Colonel Sartoris, in the old Negro servant..the present is depicted through the unnamed narrator and is represented in the new Board of Aldermen, in Homer Barron..” (West 148). This means that Faulkner used Emily (and the Grierson name for that matter) to represent how things used to be.
Although the Griersons lived off their name, the townspeople knew that they did not really have as much money as everyone thought. This is revealed to the reader when the storyteller says, “..the Griersons held themselves a little too high for what they really were.” (O’Conner 152) Because of Emilys shelter life, she was unable to cope with big events that came her way. Emily was dealing with so many things. She did not know how to handle herself in these unfamiliar situations. However, something happen to Miss Emily that would change her life, Mr. Homer Barron.
Homer was “day labor.” This was different for Miss Emily and the townspeople, because Miss Emily was a Grierson and she was not supposed to ignore noblesse oblige. Miss Emily disregarded it anyway. The reader notices that Miss Emily is proud of Homer. “[Brooks and Warren] indicate that her pride is connected with her contempt for public opinion. This comes to the fore, of course, when she rides around about town with the foreman whom everyone believes is beneath her.” (Brooks & Warren 158). The townspeople were happy for Miss Emily. Homer was like the rest of them, a commoner. They felt that he brought Miss Emily down to their level. The reader could see that Homer made Miss Emily happy. This was also apparent to the townspeople. They could see that Emily loved Homer.
She wanted to spend the rest of her life with him. She was determined not to lose Homer the way she lost her father. “She is obviously a women of tremendous firmness of will” (Brooks & Warren 158). Miss Emily was going to get it no matter what it took to do it. The reader can see how firm she is when she goes to purchase the poison to kill Homer. “She completely overawes the clerk” (Brooks & Warren 158).
She does not even give off any clues to what use she will have for the poison. When she kills Homer, Miss Emily feel that this is the only way to keep him forever. To Miss Emily, poisoning Homer was her way of preserving. (Fielder 142). Miss Emily was a confused woman. She did not understand what she was doing was not the way to preserve love.
The reader could see that she had never experienced love like the love her and Homer Barron had. She liked that feeling and did not want it to end. She knew that if the townspeople found out he were dead, not only would she suffer serious consequences, but also they would take Homers body away leaving her with nothing. Faulkner says, “I feel sorry for Emilys tragedy; her tragedy was, she was the only child, an only daughter. At the time when she could have found a husband, could have had a life of her own, there was probably someone, her father, who said, No, you must stay here and take care of me” (Jellife 152). Like Faulkner himself, the reader feels sympathetic toward Emily at the end.
Miss Emily could have had a great life if she had only had better values instilled in her. If her father let her roam free, if the townspeople saw it form Miss Emilys perspective, and if Miss Emily herself would have tried harder to make a difference in her own life Homer and her could have gotten married and live happily ever after. Bibliography Brooks, Cleanth. & Warrren, Robert Penn. (1959). Short Story Criticism.
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