Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily” depicts the story of the tragic life of one woman whose house opens to the townsfolk only after her death. This is probably the first characteristic that makes the main character different from other citizens. However, it is far from being the only feature making the woman not fit in with the rest of the town. The author offers several reasons why Miss Emily could be considered a queer individual.
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Emily’s distinctiveness is acknowledged by the people living in the town. After her death, the town’s men pay respect to her as if to a “fallen monument” (Faulkner 1). Numerous tragedies the woman experienced during her life made her treat others with an aloofness which they sometimes took for arrogance. However, the majority agreed that the lady was eccentric, and they justified her strange character with her father’s unfairly strict treatment of his daughter (Faulkner 3).
One more prominent feature about Emily is her house – “an eyesore among eyesores” (Faulkner 1). Not only is the building rare and uncommon for the town, but it also serves as a kind of prison for the woman. While her father was alive, he pushed away every young man who wanted to date his daughter. The people said that “none of the young men were quite good enough” for Emily (Faulkner 3). And after her father’s death, Emily remains in the house forever, hardly ever going out or talking to anyone but her old servant.
Among other curiosities in Miss Emily’s character, her unexplained power can be mentioned. The woman refuses to pay taxes even when the city authorities demand it (Faulkner 2). When she comes to the drugstore to buy some poison, she does not explain the purpose of her purchase even though “the law requires” her to tell how she will use it (Faulkner 4). Undoubtedly, the way she used it – to poison the man who refused to marry her – is also an uncommon characteristic of the woman. Emily’s life was full of sad events, but her behavior made it impossible for anyone to offer her some help or support. Thus, she never fit in with the rest of the people living in the town.
Faulkner, William. A Rose for Emily. N.d. Web.