A Reader Response Critique of a Rose for Emily Essay

Imagine loving one person and one person only, and then they die - A Reader Response Critique of a Rose for Emily Essay introduction. Miss Emily goes thru a trial of changes throughout this story. None of them had a positive effect on Miss Emily’s life, and everything just went downward. Using reader response criticism the reader can analyze William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily” through character, secrets, and hidden meaning. I can connect to the character because I know how it feels to lose a loved one. I shut down all communication and just didn’t want to be bothered, just like Miss Emily.

It tells how when her father died she went out very little (2). Everyone wants to be insensitive like she didn’t just lose her father. They kept referring to her in the story as “Poor Emily”… not Emily. They said her kinsfolk should have come for her but truth is her father was the only one she had (4). Now he is gone and they expect her to be the same, no one is the same after a sudden death. She won’t heal from this situation and move on it only gets worst. The hidden meaning is love in this story. Her father never gave the chance to experience love with another man.

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Then he died and that was the only man she had truly loved. Her father turned away any man that came her way (4). Later when she met Homer, people automatically assumed “she would marry him” (2). They were so anxious for her not to be lonely anymore and live life. Then Homer wanted change and Emily wasn’t up for that. She didn’t take it lightly and the situation resulted in her killing Homer. This also shows she doesn’t take change very well. Him leaving set off a trigger in her head all over again. Like her dad dying and leaving her lonely and she wasn’t willing to let Homer leave.

The story shows cultural significance by stating the difference between being black or white. The only reason why they truly let her stay in that house without paying taxes is because she was white. Back in the day African Americans could get hanged for refusing to do things, but they just let her slide even though many people complained. Also it was very disrespectful to keep calling her helper a “Negro” every chance they got (2). Nobody referred to them being a cracker. There was no justification for being called a Negro all the time.

Also her sleeping next to a dead body could have been a belief thing (8). Some people believed they could restore life to the dead or even talk to the dead. Miss Emily sleeping with the dead just shows how twisted she truly was, even at the beginning of the story she wouldn’t let them take her father’s decomposed body either. Emily’s resistance to change left her hopeless in this world. She was a burden to those around her who continued to proceed on with life. In William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily” reader response criticism was used through character, secrets, and hidden meaning.

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