William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily": reasons why Emily poisons and preserves Homer Barron

Essay by parkxCollege, Undergraduate March 2003

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Not Wanting To Let Go

In William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily", the character Emily is one that is often portrayed by women. Women tend to get more easily attached to people and things in general than men do. Women want to feel secure, be comforted, and have someone to tell them that, "Everything is going to be okay." Emily sees the characteristics of her father in Homer Barron, a man who can bring her the security that she needs in life. When Homer passes away, Emily's comfort and security dies too. Emily cannot let her love go and therefore poisons and preserves Homer Barron because of her past experiences with him, as well as her father.

Emily had a history of not wanting to let things go. After Emily's father's death, she couldn't admit to herself that he was gone. She told people that he was not dead and did this for three days.

Ministers and doctors called her repeatedly to persuade her to dispose the dead body. Emily finally broke down and agreed to bury her father just as it was about to resort to law and force. Emily's father kept her from men and didn't let her go out. ". . . she would have to cling to that which had robbed her. . ." (Faulkner 625). Emily's father made her lead a lonely, isolated life. Her only personal contact was from her father, which lead her to hold on to him as much as possible. Emily's father's death made her even lonelier than she was before. On top of Emily's father repressing her from suitors, his death gives her another reason to poison and preserve Homer Barron.

In the summer after Emily's father's death, Emily meets Homer Barron. Homer is a construction worker, ".