Often when one is brought up believing that their status in life is above others, one could resist change presuming it might compromise their higher standard in society. Miss Emily Grierson was born in a traditional era where families that had money lived in big elaborate homes (Faulkner 308). These families were considered self-made aristocrats and often thought themselves above the standards of their counterparts. Most often people that lived in the era that Miss Emily lived in only had a limited amount of association with others because they considered them beneath their standards of living. Her father illustrated this in the story, by keeping Miss Emily restricted from associating with other young people that she could have possibly developed a rapport. Her father strongly opposed male callers because they did not have the same conventional aristocratic heritage as their family thought to be (Faulkner 311).
True to her traditional way of living, Miss Emily seems to be content with living by her father’s rules and regulations. Therefore, she never tried to defy her father by trying to associate with other townspeople. However, the townspeople began to change from the old tradition as the years passed on, but Miss Emily was content remaining the same as her traditional upbringing. Yet, after the death of her father, Miss Grierson seems to be a depressed, lonely woman that was stuck in older modern traditional times, without any friends (Faulkner 312). When her father died, she showed her refusal to accept the transition by not accepting the fact that he had died. She even lived in the house with his deceased body for several days as she carried on her daily routine.
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In my opinion, her father is responsible for many of the actions that she began to illustrate after his death. It appears that his strictness affected her ability to socialize with others, as well as accepting that the town was beginning to change. She demonstrated this by wearing the same traditional clothing, as well as doing no maintenance of any kind on her house as it began to deteriorate around her (Faulkner312). The isolation, and loneliness that Miss Emily was minimized to the insane person that she became after the neighbor town men had to forcibly remove her deceased father from the home. One can only presume that she was still clinging to the only person that she had anything in common with, which was her father. Therefore, she wanted life to go on as usual with just her and her father living in the usual traditional way. When she refuses to have her father’s body taken from the house this probably was her way of clinging to his presence within the home (Faulkner 311). One would think that after her father died that she would mingle with others in town as a means of escaping the loneliness of living without the presence of her father.
To illustrate that she did not want them to visit her, she often did not let them in when they came to call on her. She seems to be consoled by barricading herself in a large house that once was one of the luxurious homes in the area. Living in solitude seems to make her rapidly age along with her untidy home. With the passing of her father, it seemed all she had left was her father’s faithful manservant, who was left to care for her. She seems to give up on ever finding any sort of happiness. As the years passed, she remained in the same state physically and mentally, never concerning herself with what type of major changes were taking place in the town. For what seems like a decade the townspeople did not see her until she finally meets a man that did not mind being seen with her in front of the townspeople. She finally thought she had found happiness, only to be deceived by a man that was willing to keep company with her but would not consent to make her his wife. Miss Emily knew that she lived in an era where there would be a substantial amount of gossip if she was regularly seen around town with a gentleman without the intention of getting married to him (Faulkner 313).
For the first time since her father died, she came close to being happy (Faulkner 312). When she discovered Homer was not going to commit to marrying her, she slipped back into her same distorted state of mind, and way of thinking. After killing Homer, she lived with his decayed body as if he was still alive (Faulkner 316). If Miss Emily had sought medical attention after the death of her father, it is my opinion that she could have lived a happy life. Her life could also have been different if she had accepted the fact that the town was making significant changes, which older tradition was fading out, and new things were taking their place. Miss Emily’s life could have been so much better and healthier if she had accepted the change.