A Rose for Emily is a short story that was first published in April 30, 1930 by an American author known as William Faulkner. The story is centered in a fictional city called Jefferson in Yoknapatawpha which is a fictional county. The title of this story is allegorical because the word rose has many meanings. Rose maybe referring to the character of Homer as a dried rose that normally is kept between the pages of a book as his dead body was kept in a good condition by Emily. The word rose may also be referring to sub rosa which in Greek means a treasure of secrecy. In this case it shows that Rose is the figure of silence between Emily and the Narrator. The story is narrated by unnamed person who has witnessed all the events that had taken place in Emily’s life open to its whole. This essay seeks to describe A Rose for Emily and its moral lessons in the society.
Emily is a woman in the story, who has gone through a lot in his life. The tragedies, the pain and sufferings and as a result of these, the writer salutes her by handing a rose to her as a sign of pity. The story starts briefly with the funeral of Miss Emily Grierson who is an elderly woman and her funeral is the responsibility of her town. The story then continues with flashbacks as the narrator gives past events of Emily. These events are the old fashioned and strange behaviors of Emily that increased time and time again. Emily comes from a high class family before the emergence of American civil war. After the civil war, her family experienced hardships and her father denied her to be married. When her father dies at the age of thirty, she denies giving up the corpse of her father to be buried. The people of the town saw this as a tough time as she grieved for her father.
Emily finally regains some strength and accepts the death of her father. Emily meets with Homer Barron, a laborer who comes in town after the death of Emily’s father. Emily and Barron become good friends and their relationship surprises many who are happy that she is moving on well with her life. However Baron says admits that he is not interested with marriage but a bachelor. Emily is seen buying arsenic drug and people assume that she wants to kill herself. Her cousins are called in to look after her but Baron asks Emily to get rid of her cousins and leaves only to return after three days. After Barron returns home he is never seen again and his whereabouts are unknown. Emily shortly begins to act strange and a strong bad smell starts to smell from her house and men are sent at night to sprinkle lime in order to remove the smell. Emily rarely accepts people in her house and she hardly leaves the house. After her funeral, folks become curious of her life including her house. The folks invade her house and search the bedroom upstairs only to find the corpse of Barron and a strand of Emily’s hair beside the corpse.
One moral lesson in the story is warning people against pride. Emily’s family came from a high class of people with high standards and because of that Emily’s father was overprotective. He denied Emily of her youth to chase after her suitors and when he died, Emily got depression because she was old and she couldn’t find someone to marry her. Once she became interested in Barron, she was not going to let him leave again to a point of even killing Barron so that she keeps him close to her. Another moral lesson is the decay of people living in the south. Women of the south were not supposed to work and that men were to take care of women. When Emily’s father died, he left Emily with no money and Emily was desperate since she was old and she couldn’t find someone to marry her. Another moral lesson is change where Emily does not change but lives old fashioned life, like that of staying and sleeping with corpse.
In conclusion, a Rose for Emily is a short story that was first published as William Faulkner. The story is centered in a fictional city called Jefferson and the title of the story is allegoric because the word rose has many meanings. The story is narrated by unnamed person who has witnessed all the events that had taken place in Emily’s life and as the events come to light following the death and funeral of Miss Grierson. The moral lessons found in the story are change, decay of people, and warning against pride which are described in the main text.