The Side of Loneliness
(An interpretation and Evaluation of William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily”)
There is no such thing as perfect in the aspect of life and living. However, there is happiness and sadness to accompany us throughout our endeavors and journey. Furthermore, there is something that we must understand in life. A person living alone does not exactly mean that it is nice to be alone and being alone could mean of affecting other people of the bitterness and the misery. Loneliness sometimes makes not just a person miserable but it can sometimes make two people wretched. In William Faulkner’s short story entitled “A Rose for Emily”, he implied that being alone could trigger more feelings that can cause deeper complications in the life of a certain person and could inflict damage to another party. Furthermore, in his story, he stated that in loneliness, someone who is miserable cannot be saved if that person declines to be saved.
A Rose for Emily Summary
Narrated in the townspeople point of view, this short story of William Faulkner is about a woman who came from a rich family and died. Miss Emily’s life is a mystery to all of them and all they can do is pity her for being alone. What the people did not know is what this person can do and that in her loneliness what she sees was the right thing to do.
A beautiful woman, Miss Emily had suitors. However, her father detested these young men and thinks that no one is right for Miss Emily. The arrogance of the family is one reason why this woman ended up alone and her father rightfully controlled her life. It was not a fun life for her and indeed it was really sad that when her father died, she tried to deny it and for three years kept his body in their house. There was only one person left for her and it was a Negro servant who eventually grew old serving her. He was the one who goes to market for her and talked to no one. The people grew tired of talking to him seen he tell nothing about Miss Emily.
She rarely goes out of her house until Homer came, a laborer who she gained interest with. From then on, the townspeople were on her side and thought that they will be married and soon, people thinks that they are married. The townspeople were really happy for her and at the same time concerned that when Homer left, they thought Miss Emily will commit suicide after buying arsenic.
Finally Miss Emily died due to old age and maybe because of sickness. It was the first time after so many years of being closed that the house was opened to the public again. It was her wake and her two kin were there. After she was buried did the people took courage to open a room in the house and found things the woman bought for Homer. In the bed lies Homer and a strand of the woman’s gray hair.
Emily and Her Life (Interpreting Miss Emily)
There is no definite way on how one will interpret a certain story. However, in this case, we can simply focus the whole interpretation with Emily and her life since she is the main character in the story and it was her life which is being narrated by a representative of the town folks. Furthermore, as the focus, we need to know why Miss Emily preferred to be alone her whole life and why was there a dead person in one of the rooms in her house. Moreover, we intended to know her reasons of choosing loneliness over happiness in life.
It was indeed a sad life for Emily. Being just the shadow of his father and staying at his back did she was seen by the people. She never had someone to be with since her father controlled her life and upon dying left her alone with their Negro servant. Considering the events in her life, we can have a preview on why she chose to be alone. However, it is still unclear why she killed Homer.
Mystery is part of the story. Miss Emily’s life was enveloped by mystery and the curious townspeople opt to know some things about her. Although they wanted to sympathize her on her miserable stage, they are also concerned about her knowing that she was not used to facing things on her own. To remember, it was her father who ruled her life that it seems quite impossible that she can assist herself. Everything had been spoon fed to her and though she would not choose this kind of life in the next life time, she had been used to it that in the death of her father she finally loses her sanity.
At first the people spared themselves of the idea that she is crazy but then in the end of the story, now that she is dead, it is easy to understand that she had troubles with her own self. Finding Homer in a room in her house only means that there are things she did and probably she used the arsenic to him. She killed Homer, who was her lover because he intends not to marry her. To keep him from leaving her, she decided to kill him and live in a dream as if he is still alive and they are together. However, this incident did not seem to be a natural thing to be done by a person in proper mind and this only means that Miss Emily have mental problems already and suffers from both loneliness and depression.
Loneliness Kills Two
In this case, we can simply say that Miss Emily had been death for the long time already since she was alone and she had wanted a companion throughout her life. When Homer came, she though she already had some whom she can share her life with but was broken hearted to find out that he will leave her. Killing Homer is her only way to keep him from going and leaving her.
In this story, loneliness and being alone seem to be a major theme and it is the main reason why Miss Emily never goes out of the house and why she actually killed Homer. Having him in her life somehow changed the course of her life and yet his decisions caused her heart ache that she decided to put an end into his plans in life. However, Miss Emily intended to share her life with him despite of Homer being dead already.
How the people of the town viewed her fall depended on how much they know Miss Emily. Some looked at her as a fallen angel, a person who failed to be happy and have the chance to be happy. She was the epitome of beauty and wealth but now, she is a death person with nothing but her old house and the corpse of her lover. She choose to kill someone in hope that confining this person in a room would prohibit him from leaving her but the truth, killing Homer only make her more pathetic and crazy.
Faulkner, William. A Rose for Emily.