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Tragedy In The Eyes Of The Beholder

993 words - 4 pages

In the story “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner, Emily Grierson is a highly respected individual in her small southern town. Her over protective father shelters her from the world, and Emily never marries because of him. When her father dies, Emily is left to live a lonely life with nothing but, the home she grew up in. When Homer Barron comes along Emily is for the first time able to get close to a man other than her father. The two soon become the talk of the town, and rumors spread of the two getting married. Before that happened Homer seemed to leave Emily, and the town never seen him again. Emily is so highly respected that when a horrible smell coming from her house sends the town in an uproar no one wanted to approach her about it. Therefore, people from the town spread lime through her yard one night, believing that the smell was coming from a dead animal. When the smell diapered the town never thought to think twice of it and went on with their lives. Finally When Emily dies unexpectedly the towns people finds a shocking discovery in Emily’s home. Homer had rotted into her bed, and even worse Emily had killed him, and had been lying beside him.
Of course, when under the spotlight as Emily is it is inevitable that wherever she goes and whatever she does gossip will follow her. After analyzing the story, I found a strange correlation between what Emily was to the town, versus what she was in secret. As someone who can relate to being gossiped about, I began to wonder if gossip plays a negative part in your social class status, and if that is the case, how has gossip created false ideas of what Emily’s class and life is.
Throughout the story, we see a transformation of how the town views Emily. At the beginning of the story the narrator says “Alive, Miss Emily had been a tradition, a duty, and a care; a sort of hereditary obligation upon the town.”() Signifying how loved and respected she was. By the time her father dies the narrator begins to tell us how the town had begun to humanize Emily saying, “When her father died, it got about that the house was all that was left to her; and in a way, people were glad. At last, they could pity Miss Emily. Being left alone, and a pauper, she had become humanized. Now she too would know the old thrill and the old despair of a penny more or less.”() By the end of the story, the town was horrified by the idea of what Emily was, and what secrets she was hiding. The revolution of how the viewed Emily has much to do with the gossip that revolves around her.
Even when the gossip is proven false, no faith is restored in Emily. For example, the narrator...

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