Anastasia A Rose for Emily in a feminist critical perspective reveals the grotesque aspects of this story as a result of the expectations produced by the conventions of sexual politics. The ending provides a twist with a hint of necrophilia; more shocking Is the fact that it is a woman who provides the hint. The reader does not expect that a woman has murdered the man. The conventions of sexual politics have familiarized the reader with the Image of women nobly accepting death at her husband’s hand.
To reverse this “natural” pattern inevitably produces the grotesque factor of this Tory. Faulkner conjures the grotesque with the intentions of bringing light to and defining the authentic nature of the statures on which It depends. A Rose for Emily Is a story of the patriarchy North and South, and of the sexual conflict within it. As Faulkner himself once said, ” It is a story of a woman victimized and betrayed by the system of sexual politics, who nevertheless has discovered, within the structures that victimize her, sources of power for herself. It can also be interpreted as a story on how to murder your man without getting caught. When Miss Emily Grievers died, our whole town went to her funeral. ” The public and cooperative nature of Email’s funeral, an event that brings the entire town together, clarifies its social relationships and the influence of the past. This indicates her central role In the town of Jefferson. Alive. Emily Is town property and a rather popular subject of shared speculation; dead, she is town history and the subject of a legend.
It is her highly regarded value as a symbol which holds great significance to Jefferson and to the meaning of Its history that compels the narrator to use a manual voice to tell the story. The history the narrator reveals, displays Jefferson continuous emotional Involvement with Emily. Although, she locks herself up In a house which she rarely leaves and which no one enters, her isolation is in direct proportion to the town’s incessant attention to her. Her every act is immediately consumed by the town for gossip as they are legitimately obsessed with her.
Any private life of hers becomes a public document that the town folk feel free to interpret as they see fit. Her funeral is not only a communal ceremony; it is ultimately the climax of their invasion of her riveter life. Despite the narrator’s delay and patience, getting Inside Email’s house Is the desire of the townspeople. “Already we knew that there was one room in that region above stairs which no one had seen in forty years, and which would have to be forced.
They waited until MISS Emily was decently In the ground before they opened it. ” Thus, the figure that Jefferson places at the center of its history does indeed contain the clue to the meaning of that legendary history. This Is observed In the emblem which lies at the heart of the town’s memory and at the heart of patriarchal ultra: “We had long thought of them as a tableau, Miss Emily a slender fugue In back to her and clutching a horsewhip, the two of them framed by the back-flung front door. The importance of Emily father in shaping the quality of her life is evident throughout the story. Even in her death the force of his presence is felt; above her dead body sits “the crayon face of her father musing profoundly’ symbolic of the extent to which he has dominated her life, “as if that quality of her father which has thwarted her woman’s life so many times had been too virulent and too furious to IEEE. ” The real object is his daughter, forced into the background and dominated by the figure of her father whose back is turned on her.
Relying on the assumptions about women who are expected to be neither reasonable nor in touch with reality, Emily presents an unyielding stance that vanquishes the men “horse and foot, Just as she had vanquished their fathers thirty years before. ” In spite of modern ideas, this new generation, when faced with Miss Emily, are Just as much bound by the code of gentlemanly behavior as their fathers. This code gives Emily a power that renders the entitlement unable to function. The nature of the women to shield the town of what is going on, allows Emily to murder with a sense of freedom.
When Emily buys the poison, it never occurred to anyone that she intended to use it on Homer. And when the house begins to smell, the women blame it on the bizarreness of having a male servant rather than a woman, ” as if a man- any man-could keep a kitchen properly. ” But even more acute is what happens when the men try to do something about the smell. “Dimmit, sir,’ Judge Stevens said, Will you accuse a lady to her face of smelling bad? But if a lady cannot be told that she smells, then the cause of the smell cannot be discovered and so her crime is executed perfectly.
At this point is made clear that the assumptions behind the Judge’s outraged retort go beyond the myth that the ladies are out of touch with reality. His outburst insists that it is the responsibility of gentlemen to make them so. Ladies must never be confronted with facts; they must be shielded from all that may be considered unpleasant. Thus, Colonel Sartorial remits Emily taxes with a palpably absurd story, designed to protect her from an wariness of her poverty and her dependence on charity, and to protect him from having to confront her about it.
Therefore, Judge Stevens will not confront Emily with the fact that her house stinks, though she is living in it and surely cannot be unaware of the stench. Not only is A Rose for Emily a supreme analysis of what men do for women; it is also a lesson on how this act in turn recoils upon the men who find the rotted corpse of Homer. This is the significance of the relationship that Faulkner establishes between Emily and Jefferson as well as Emily and her father.