In the short story A Rose for Emily a young girl grows up with attached to her father. She never knew what the social life is like outside of her house. Her father would not let her out of the house and this resulted in her keeping her father’s carcass after he passed. She went through sad and isolated times. Using reader response criticism the reader can analyze William Faulkner’s A Rose for Emily through Emily’s character, actions, and anthropology.
Emily’s character showed many different characteristics. She didn’t know what social life was because she was always in her house. Her feelings were never stable. She was also an outcast. “She told them that her father was not dead. She did that for three days, with the ministers calling on her, and the doctors, trying to persuade her to let them dispose of the body,” (4). She didn’t want to accept that fact that her dad was dead. He was all that she had left and when she finally realized he had to be buried, she cried her eyes out. For example, my mom has a friend whose son died in a fire at their house and until this day after 8 years of his death she still has his entire room wrapped up with the plastic used to wrap pallets. It’s understandable that when one loses a loved one the person is sad. It’s also weird to hear that a lady is keeping her fathers body because she can’t let go and face reality. But it’s just something that a person has to get over because it’s going to happen to everybody no matter how much the person tries to avoid it. That summer Emily met a man named Homer Barron. He was in charge of paving the town’s sidewalks. The town began feeling happy for her because she actually found someone and was now willing to come out of her house. Even though she ended up falling in love with him and even killed him. “Now and then we would see her at a window for a moment, as the men did that night when they sprinkled the lime, but for almost six months she did not appear on the streets,” (6). Eventually she just blocked the upstairs to her home so that people would not find out that she was hiding a dead body in her bedroom. Emily is a strange character in the story but her traits and characteristics make her stand out from everyone else because no one else is as awkward as she is. She also chooses to make many bad choices throughout the story, putting her father’s dead body in her room being one of them.
A rose for Emily can also be analyzed by the characters actions. It’s almost as if her dad forgot to teach her right from wrong. After her dad died she had more responsibilities and had been isolated from everyone. The reason why she had been isolated from everyone is because her dad was the only person that she had. “‘I want some poison,’ she said. ‘Yes, Miss Emily. What kind? For rats and such? I’d recom—.’ ‘I want the best you have. I don’t care what kind.’”(5). Emily’s so called “rat” was Home Barron. He led her on and made it seem like he wanted to marry her but then he no longer wanted to be with her. She wanted to use the arsenic poison to Homer Barron. Not only did she use the poison to kill him, but she also kept Homer’s body, just like her fathers. “Then we noticed that in the second pillow was the indentation of a head. One of us lifted something from it, and leaning forward, that faint and invisible dust dry and acrid in the nostrils, we saw a long strand of iron-gray hair,”(8). No one in town knew where Homer was or where he had gone. One day he just disappeared and never came back. What the town didn’t know was that after Emily poisoned him she kept him in her room with her dad. That was the reason for why she blocked the upstairs of her house. Not only did she keep his body there, but she also slept next to Homer Barron’s body until she died. She was a sick person and seemed to have had a twisted mind from what she did.
Anthropology is clear mainly through race and gender. African Americans were considered property and they were not given rights. Black people were not even considered to have a name “A deputation waited upon her, knocked at the door through which no visitor had passed since she ceased giving china-painting lessons eight or ten years earlier. They were admitted by the old Negro into a dim hall from which a stairway mounted into still more shadow. It smelled of dust and disuse—a close, dank smell. The Negro led them into the parlor” (1). Miss Emily’s servant was black and was not called by his real name he was called “negro”. That just shows how people were still prejudice during the time of the story’s setting. Before Miss Emily’s father died she didn’t know who she was she was always behind the doors of her house because her father would not let her out. He was the reason why she didn’t get to know what the outside world was like. “Only a man of Colonel Sartoris’ generation and thought could have invented it, and only a woman could have believed it” (1). In that quote one can tell how a man was the dominant one and the woman was the dummy who believed everything. Her father’s death was whole reason to why she got to know herself she just couldn’t let go and that why she just had to keep his body. One would think that someone would be happy that their father died if they were like that but Miss Emily just didn’t take the chance to explore who she was, instead she just stayed on the second floor of her house with her father and homer’s carcasses.
In conclusion, Ms. Emily could just not take the change. She didn’t take the chance to explore who she was because she just needed her father way too much. Using reader response criticism the reader can analyze William Faulkner’s A Rose for Emily through Emily’s character, actions, and anthropology. Sometimes people just need to learn to face the facts and accept change.