Inspiration for “A Rose for Emily”
It remains in the humanity to want to have a sense of belonging and to be a part of something larger, making it difficult to keep moral choices. The main character in William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily” deals with ethical obstacles created by the pressure of wishing to comply with the town’s expectations while still attempting to maintain a sense of self-reliance, which eventually leads up to the motivation to murder of Homer Barron.
By holding high expectations, straight interfering in Emily’s life and relationship, and the continuous extensive gossip from the Townspeople of Jefferson are the primary motivation for the murder of Homer Barron.
Emily Grierson, being the last Southern lady of the Antebellum South was held at a high expectation by the townspeople of Jefferson (Faulkner 160). As Thomas Dilworth points out, the townspeople had wished to protect the worths of the old south through the embodiment of Emily (252 ). Faulkner even states that, “Alive, Miss Emily had been a custom, a task, and a care: a sort of genetic commitment upon the town (156 ).” He is suggesting that the town’s people see that Emily has this hereditary responsibility to the town. These high expectations were rollovered into Miss Emily’s personal sexual needs where she is expected to keep the look of a pure southern woman that can be compared to that of Eve from the Garden of Eden (Dilworth 253). Although Emily does rebel versus the town for two years by dating a blue-collar construction employee and Yankee Homer Barron in attempt to not conform to the Jefferson townspeople’s expectations of a southern lady (Dilworth 251). The town’s hard to live up to standards are a part of the inspirational thinking that leads up to Emily murdering Homer and keeping his body in a necrophiliac relationship.
Being raised by her daddy, Emily has actually constantly understood about the expectations that were to be met, since of who her family is; nevertheless, this means that Emily’s personal life has always had interference. When her dad was still alive Emily was not to be with any male because, “None of the boys were rather sufficient for Miss Emily and such (Faulkner 158),” and when her dad lastly passed away the towns individuals began to take his place in interfering in Emily’s life. After Emily has been dating Homer for a little over a year the town starts to presume the couple’s relationship to be scandalous, assuming adults in their thirties would engage in sexual acts, and leads the town to take actions into their own hands by sending the ntown’s Baptist priest to talk to Episcopal Emily about her actions. The talk with Emily was unsuccessful, triggering the town to then employ Emily’s out of state cousins to monitor her. Emily in turn reacts by heading out into town to purchase males’s clothing and toiletries, which in turn leads the town and Emily’s cousins that she is wed or is going to soon wed Homer (Faulkner 161-162). The direct interference in Emily’s life is the townspeople blatantly showing that they no longer have a tolerance for her relationship with Homer, and reveal a blind eye when Emily purchases arsenic when out in the area purchasing the men’s toiletries and clothes.
Once the cousins believe that Emily is to marry Homer they leave, however that does not change the truth that the townspeople directly interfered with Emily’s individual affairs and still hold Emily in high requirements. This suggests that even if Emily were to wed Homer the townspeople would still chatter on how Homer is a bad moral example for the Jefferson youth. Chatter was a constant reminder to Emily of the expectations needed of her and the interference to advise her of this. Chatter is also regularly expressed throughout Faulkner’s story. A direct recommendation of gossip originates from Faulkner’s story, “When her dad died, it got about that the house was all that was delegated her” (Faulkner 159). “It got about” is a specific referral to gossip. Also critic James M. Wallace indicates that the gossip throughout the story informed by the narrator’s had a wide understanding of occasions that went on in the story (106 ). the narrator relates 3 separate conversations between Judge Stevens and one lady and two males concerning the smell originating from Emily’s property.
The narrator knows the details of the discussions well enough to estimate Judge Stevens’s directly. “‘Dammit sir,’ Judge Stevens said, ‘will you implicate a lady to her face of smelling bad?'” (Faulkner 158). Also earlier when Emily purchased arsenic, “So the next day all of us stated, “‘She will kill herself’; and we stated it would be the best thing” (Faulkner 161). “and we said it would be for the very best thing,” shows how the town is judgmental and takes Emily’s “falling” as bad moral to the town. The gossip always being a constant element to Emily is the main reason how the town was able to motivate Emily to encourage Homer. She understood that she would not have the ability to have her individual requirements above the town’s expectations to hold her on a pedestal to maintain the south. The expectations, interference and insistent chatter from the town were the primary motivation for Emily to eliminate Homer. Emily was not able to maintain the façade of being the Southern lady that the town of Jefferson desired while still maintaining her own sexual requirements of a grown lady. This leads her to the ultimate choice to murder Homer Barron and keep his body for her own necrophiliac relationship to be able to put the town at ease and soothe her own conscience. The murder and necrophilia is a direct result of the town’s expectation, disturbance, and chatter and are the encouraging factors required for Emily to lastly snap.