Breath of Clarity

A Rose for Emily Short Response

In the short story “A Rose for Emily,” William Faulkner illustrates the admiration the isolated often deserve, as the destructive pain Emily felt was a consequence of unconditional love and unwillingness to tolerate the inferior. The author depicts the old as elite, starting from the explanation of the neighborhood as “once most select” (Faulkner 1). Emily experiences a lack of belonging among the many who don’t value honorable action, based on principles which were modeled by her father. The debt left for Emily to pay following her father’s death represents the toll her self-image suffered that resulted from holding such high moral standards, as it ultimately made the woman not marry and feel alone, most importantly from a romantic sense. When the deputation visited the house and “a faint dust rose spinning with slow motes in the single sun-ray,” it shows that their simple presence was beneficial (Faulkner 1). The physical description of Emily, “with a thin gold chain descending to her waist and vanishing into her belt […] her eyes lost in the fatty ridges of her face” depicted that her high social class did not serve her. Instead, Emily’s class made her feel lack of belonging, which ultimately contributed to a unworthy self-image (Faulkner 1). The others’ judgmental response to Emily’s deteriorated well- being was a judgmental approach to her loss of vitality. They selfishly sought to abolish the smell, as their the focus was to treat the symptom that affected their own account of reality. However, they eventually realized that they were “confusing time with its mathematical progression,” failing to compassionately view Emily’s choices as a necessitated consequence of her past (Faulkner 5). The pillow’s indentation signified that her fight was driven by a desire to be loved. !1