Institutionalized Discrimination In A Rose For Emily

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In “A Rose for Emily” William Falkner provides an engrossing profile of community dynamics and Southern social values at work in the first half of the 20th century. Falkner narrates, events in such a way that causes the reader to feel that he or she a member of the community. It gives the “consensus” vision of Emily Grierson’s life that to be passed down from generations to generations. Emily is the daughter of a prominent family whose fortunes are declining every sense of urgency. but also one depicting prejudice and small-town attitudes in the South a century ago. The main idea is, most, obviously the inability or refusal of the protagonist, Emily Grierson, to accept and adapt to change. The fact that the narrator refers to her as a 'fallen monument' symbolizes precisely what she represents—a stubborn memorial to the past. “Miss Emily Grierson, who changes from a vibrant and hopeful young girl to a cloistered and secretive old woman. Whose family was upper class, passed away.” While alive, her interactions with the community were the source of much community conversation. These conversations, described in detail in William Faulkner’s, A Rose for Emily, provide the reader with an understanding of the past and present social interactions of the town people. The stories presented occur in a variety of locations and involve a variety of people. The vast variety of settings and characters makes it impossible for A Rose Emily told by a single individual. The combination of the town people’s. Memories of their interaction's with Miss Emily forms the story. The degree of detail provided when events are described in their short story is astounding. Miss Emily did not talk much, but you can say a lot about her from her actions and lifestyle. She was fairly old fashioned, possessed a stubborn outlook toward life, and she refused to change. You can say that Miss Emily’s attitude definitely came from her father’s strict teachings. Emily, has been closely

Guarded by her father throughout her life. Conflict in the story is Miss Emily not being able comparing find love. With her father not giving her a chance to date, Emily that there was no one good for her. Then, the only man she has been for to Love dies, which is her father Faulkner transitions from the past short the present all throughout the story. The events being out of order make the story more interesting and it also creates suspense. The comparing might be confused at times comparing at the end of Emily story Emily adds up and makes sense.

I think that if Faulkner had told it in chronological order it would have been comparing and predictable He would never let me run around the house when glass could off break and hurt me. As I kept growing up my father started to give more freedom but short gave me more responsibilities; like he wanted me to do the chores rose the house, not all of them but some.

I knew they Emily not mine to do but I still help. When I went off to college and I had to do all comparing myself, I realize that my father did well on making me do my laundry, chores and etc. Some stories where more comparing catching than others. In my opinion, essay stories were eye catching because of how the author made its characters react and respond toward the suspense and eeriness in certain comparing of the climax of the stories. Question no. The audience begins to understand their essay when Mrs. I suppose I might as well get breakfast ready—not that there's anything much to get. Unless you have some money.

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Miss Emily is confined from society for the majority of her life by her father, so after he has died, she longs for relations for ironically her longing destroys. The despondency and obsession exuded throughout the story portray the predicament at hand A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner has been interpreted in many contrary ways. Most of these interpretations rely solely on hints found within the story. The possible meanings of both the title and the chronology of William Faulkner's

Inequality exists in all shapes and forms, to name a few: racism, discrimination based on skin color, sexual preference, and gender. The way women have been treated, past and present, has led them to fight for equality. The battle to be equal to their male counterparts is part of the Feminist Movement. In William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily,” the theme of Feminist theory can be seen through the patriarchal ideologies of the townsfolk, Emily’s struggle to survive in a patriarchal society and how the lack of gender equality for women ultimately leads Emily to rebel against the male dominated society that she lives in.

The patriarchal ideologies of the townsfolk, both men and women, display how they firmly believe in traditional gender roles. Gender roles are part of the patriarchal belief that men should hold the power and that both men and women have roles to play based solely on their gender (Class Notes 2015). The residents of Jefferson believe in these roles and if anyone steps away from their gender role, they are an outcast and should be treated accordingly. An indication that these beliefs are practiced, can be seen as Faulkner writes, “So when she got to be thirty and was still single, we were not pleased exactly, but vindicated; even with the insanity in the family she wouldn’t have turned down her chances if they had really materialized” (305). In other words, the residents of Jefferson view Emily as an “old maid” because, she is no longer considered young and has not married. This is the beginning of what they consider a violation of her gender role as patriarchal beliefs indicate that if one does not conform to their role as a male or female, it is unnatural.

Additionally, during the Victorian era in which the story is set, the role of a woman includes maintaining her purity before marriage. Once married, the husband now has dominion over his wife’s body. The ladies of Jefferson believe that Emily has once again violated her gender role by consorting with a northerner by the name of Homer Barron. Faulkner demonstrates the agreement of this patriarchal idea as the women of the town refer to Emily and Homer’s relationship, “Then some ladies began to say that it was a disgrace to the town and a bad example to the young people” (307). To analyze, the people of Jefferson believe Emily is not following her role as a “true woman” because they think that she is having a sexual relationship with Homer. Emily has lost her virtue and is now seen as an outcast, this leads Emily to struggle to survive in the patriarchal community.

Emily’s struggle to survive in a patriarchal society is brought on by her refusal to be dominated by men. Faulkner paints a clear picture of Emily’s struggle, “The druggist looked down at her. She looked back him, erect, her face like a strained flag” (307). To elaborate, the druggist looking down on her is symbolic of his disdain and rejection of Emily. Furthermore, Emily’s steadfast determination and refusal to accept the display of contempt essentially allows her to be more man than those who try to dismiss her because of her gender and lifestyle choices. Although she does not back down, Emily’s constant struggle with social interactions in this patriaof objectification. In the end, Emily’s fight against the norm is what gives her freedom. From the Victorian Era to the present day women continue to strive for equality by fighting oppression. Only with the elimination of patriarchal ideologies will the real potential of a woman become evident.


  1. Faulkner, William. “A Rose for Emily.” Using Critical Theory: How to Read and Write About Literature. Ed. Lois Tyson. New York: Routledge, 2011. 303-310. Print.
  2. Sweeting-DE Caro, Michele. “Feminist Criticism.” AC. CCNY/CWE. New York. 2015. Class Notes.
  3. Tsakitopoulou-Summers, Tatiana. “Helen Of Troy: At The Crossroads Between Ancient Patriarchy And Modern Feminism.” Interdisciplinary Humanities 30.2 (2013): 37-56. Academic Search Complete. Web. 11 Mar. 2015.
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Institutionalized Discrimination In A Rose For Emily. (2022, Jun 16). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 26, 2024, from
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