William Faulkner's short story, "A Rose for Emily" is often held as a literary classic due to Faulkner?s ability to play with our mind and emotions almost to the point of frustration. However, there is much more than mind games that Faulkner plays that makes this story great. Emily Grierson, the main character, is a strong-willed stubborn old bitty, who was quite odd, this alone is a reason for greatness. To fully understand why Emily is the way that she is one must look past the obvious and truly look at Emily. Emily Grierson has a mental condition that is just itching to be discovered.
Miss Emily was part of the highly revered Grierson family, the aristocrats of the town. They held themselves to a higher standard, and nothing or nobody was ever good enough for them. Faulkner fist gives us the clue of Emily's mental condition when he refers to Emily's great-aunt, Lady Wyatt. Faulkner tells us that Lady Wyatt had "gone completely crazy" (Faulkner 93). Due to the higher standards they had set for themselves, they believed that they were too high for that and then distanced themselves from that branch of the family. Mental conditions are hereditary, and it is quite possible that Mr. Greirson knew that, saw it in Emily and thus the reason that she was kept in confinement her whole life.
Another indicator if her mental illness comes with her father?s death. As her neighbors tried to offer condolences, she acted as if nothing had happened. She refused to acknowledge her father was dead. It took her three days to release his body to be buried. This cycle of her inability to accept death is continued through out the story. When the city officials came to Emily to collect taxes, she kept telling them to talk to Colonel Satoris, who at this point in time had been dead nearly ten years.
Another indication of Emily?s mental condition is the insinuation of necrophilia. Simply put, necrophilia is a sexual attraction to corpses. The roots of Emily?s necrophilia are deep, and unique. Emily?s father controlled her all of her life. He made every little...