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A Rose for Emily

  • Date Submitted: 07/19/2010 07:06 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 64.2 
  • Words: 565
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Coming from a good traditional family does not always lead to happiness. In the story, “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner, Emily is a character that embodies tradition, pride and ultimately misery. The magic behind this piece of art is how the author puts into context the idea that tradition can lead to excessive pride which in turn can ultimately destroy the soul of a person. Because of this, Emily is one of the darkest characters in English literature.

Tradition plays an important role in Emily's life. Her father is described as an old fashioned character and her family embodies “tradition, duty and care.”   This is so partly because in the 1890s Colonel Sartoris decided to remit their taxes perpetually, and partly because of an awkward sense of superiority that only white people could have throughout this racist era. Emily is very close to her dad and finds it difficult to find a man worthy of her love. The connection to her dad is evidenced when she cuts her hair short, resembling “a little girl,” after her dad passes away. She is now the sole heir of her dad’s position and moral standards in her town. This attachment fueled Emily’s pride.

Emily portrays a character that is full of pride throughout the story. In the beginning, the Major of her town has to tell her that she was being exempt of her taxes because of an old debt the town had with her dad. The Major was doing it out of compassion and knew that Emily would not accept charity. Another symptom of Emily's unhealthy pride is the fact that she seems distant from the rest of people. It’s almost as if her neighbors were not good enough for her. Only her family was worthy of a relationship with Emily. Her emotional and psychological attachment towards her loved ones is evident in the story. After her dads’ death, it is clear that she did not want to let go, it was as if she was denying this tragedy. Her pride does not let her see that her loved one is gone. Her pride blinded her reality and...


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