William Faulkner

William Faulkner, an outstanding novelist, was born on September 25, 1897, in New Albany, Mississippi. His surname was originally spelled Falkner. William was a student at Mississippi University in 1919. William worked for the school newspaper during his time at university. William, on the other hand, dropped out of university after three semesters. Since dropping out of class, he worked as a bookseller assistant in New York City and then as a university postmaster for two years. The Marble Faun, a poem written by William, sold over 1,000 copies. The publications made William move to New Orleans to publish essays for The Double Dealer magazine. During the long journey started in 1925 he published his first novel Soldier’s Pay. Finally, William gained fame through his accurate and faithful dictation of the Southern speech (Bloom 120). Like any other person, William faced challenges both soul-shocking sadness and elation in his career. Through his good work, Faulkner won the Nobel Prize in 1955from his book The Collected Stories of William Faulkner.

Story Background

Miss Emily Grierson was a jewel of the town; she had a sense of obligation upon the town. Emily lived in a big, square framed house that was painted white some time back. The house had decorations of cupolas and spires and scrolled balconies. Her house was on the once most select street of the town before it was overrun with garages and cotton gins. Emily had a unique life that he never had a man in her life, her father had pushed away al the possible suitors who approached. Later on, Emily died. While she was still alive, she had been a sort of hereditary duty upon the town, from the day that Colonel Sartoris declared that no Negro woman should appear on the streets without an apron. The relationship between a parent and child determines the kind p fife ahead. Hence, Emily’s solo life made her lead a miserable life due to the overprotective father who never wanted anyone to mingle with his daughter (Gale 245). The life of Emily after her father’s death was a living hell as no one was closer, something that made her decide not to bury her boyfriend’s body and decided to sleep with it over all those years. Many of the aspects covered in the story reflect the current living standards the people. Some of the decisions people make or the decisions made to them by others determine the future life. However, it is more advisable to evaluate your life other than someone making personal decisions for someone (Faulkner 233). For example, Emily’s father’s decisions to send away all the men made her life difficult without a man in her life after she killed her boyfriend, Homer.

The Critical Analysis of the Story

Emily’s visitors

Colonel Sartoris invented tales that Emily’s father had loaned the town, and they preferred this way of paying her back for her father’s generosity. However, it was not all roses for Emily. Trouble started when she received her first tax notice. The trouble was because the previous generation of the town’s leaders was fast being left in the past and the new generation with new and modern ideas did not agree with the way things were (Sharan 154). Emily did not reply to this first notice, the mayor of the town got involved and even offered to give her a ride in to town to sort out the matter (Faulkner 120). Emily however had not set foot outside her house since she stopped offering china painting lessons, and that was ten years ago.

The board of Aldermen gathered at Emily’s house for a special board meeting to discuss the way forward. The Aldermen were the first visitors Emily has had in ten years. She invited them into the house, it wreaked of dust and disuse. The parlour was furnished with heavy leather seats, with noticeable cracks on them (Sharan 104). As the Aldermen sat down a fine coat of dust was displaced and seemed to dance in the glow of the rays of sunshine that emanated from an open window.


Emily had a very overprotective father who never liked to see anyone near his daughter. Emily was separated from the world of interacting with people. The circumstances in a person’s life can lead to leading a sole life. Despite the tough conditions imposed by Emily’s father, she went ahead and killed her boyfriend. The act took her years and it never let her live in peace as the dead body was right in the house and she slept next to it every night (Sharan 176). In life, leading a lonely life does not Emily that the people around have denied to create company for you, but the acts in life can make someone guilty to mingle with the rest. For example, Emily killing her boyfriend was an act that the society forbids, so would have the crime been revealed to the people, Emily could not have been allowed to stay with the people due to the offense (Faulkner 98). However, family members create isolation, as Emily’s father did separate her from the men who tried get attached to her. In addition, the society can isolate a person due to wrongful acts commited. The killing of her boyfriend made Emily lead a solo life as the society could not tame such a character.

Compassion and Forgiveness

Emily’s story unfolds with cruel acts that can make a reader think that everything is done in a merciless manner. Despite the harshness and arrogant treatment revealed in the story, the author argues that forgiveness is a way of letting the past go and dealing with the present to create an even environment for everyone. Emily should have stood and face the past events in her life and face the present with a positive attitude. What is past can only make people miserable if at all they keep thinking or reminding themselves about the past events. However, forgetting about the past and making clean of it in the present will grant a free life full of joy and happiness (Faulkner 120). For example, had Emily not killed her boyfriend, she could not have been sleeping with a corpse. The event calls for people to be compassionate and forgiving in situations that create conflict.

The government and property

Emily’s father had died for over a decade but the unpaid taxes to the government wee demanded from Emily. Emily tries to insist that she owes no taxes to the government. However, the taxes asked for were from the time her father was alive. The rule of law has to be followed whether or not the person in charge is available. The property that Emily owns is registered und her father’s name and the records indicated clearly that over that period no taxes were paid. Hence, people in the current world avoid paying taxes, something that should be self-explanatory and a mandatory exercise to file taxes (Faulkner 145).

Emily’s first appearance

Emily joins the meeting a while later, she was a small fat woman dressed in black, she had a thin gold chain that ran all the way from her neck to her waist, then disappearing into her belt leaning on tarnished ebony with a gold head. She seems as though she had been in still water for too long (Faulkner 134).

The spokesperson conveyed his message, and then there appeared to have been an endless silence that had engulfed the room, so much, so that Emily’s watch could be heard at the end of the gold chain, “tick – tock.”

Emily broke the silence and spoke, “I have no taxes in this town, and you can access the town’s records and find out for yourself”. She was adamant and relentless in her resolve, and then she immediately demanded that they leave her house (Sharan 154).

Clean up

Soon after the visit by the Aldermen to Emily’s house, complaints started coming to judge Stevens. Two nights later, some of the town’s people crept into Miss Emily’s home and spread lime in all the outbuildings and the cellar to reduce the stench that emanated from them.

Unfortunately, Emily had been sick for a long time, when people saw her, she was nothing short of tragic (Faulkner 188). When she finally died everyone in the town attended her funeral. Through a respectful show of affection, the men paid their last respect to a fallen monument. The women mostly attended out of curiosity to have a look at the inside of the house in which only a few people have been inside for over ten years. Now Miss Emily will be laid to rest in the eternal sleep that overshadows love.

Works Cited

Bloom, Harold. William Faulkner. Broomall, PA: Chelsea House Publishers, 1999.

Faulkner, William, and Noel Polk. A rose for Emily. Harcourt College Publishers, 2000.

Gale, Cengage L. A Study Guide for William Faulkner’s “”Rose for Emily””. Farmington Hills: Gale, Cengage Learning, 2016.

Sharan, Daphna. “Black Invisibility: Faulkner’s “a Rose for Emily and “Dry September”.” Beer Sheva: publisher not identified, 2005.

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