A rose for Emily
A rose for Emily is a short story authored by William Faulkner and published in 1930. It details the plight of a woman, Emily Grierson who is the main character in the story. She is orphaned aged thirty and lives for forty-four years of misery and reclusiveness. All the other characters in the story revolve around her as minor characters. This article seeks to expound on the character of each one of them in a bid to understand why the author included them in the story and their role in developing its plot.
She is the main character of the story. She is reclusive and eccentric. She is also portrayed as very secretive and tight-lipped about her life experiences. At a young age, she was vibrant and hopeful but life experiences turn her into a delusional woman. When orphaned at a young age, she becomes depressed. Her father rejected several suitors who sought her hand in marriage over their suitability to become good husbands to her daughter. Upon his death, she feels unloved and her domineering father haunts her decisions to seek love even in his absentia. The townspeople pity her but she remains closed to their help. Home Barron, a young man from the north comes close to marrying her but that never happens. Eventually, she dies lonely and miserably aged seventy-four and the townspeople turn up to her burial curious to uncover the secrets she had hid throughout her life.
He is a young gentleman from the north with a dark complexion, light-colored eyes and booming voice. He is masculine and they meet when he comes to town on work-related terms. He is gregarious and humorous and shortly after being in town he wins many admirers among them Emily. He takes her out on Sundays on few romantic escapades and shortly the townspeople start anticipating their wedding. However, the society view him as poor and scandalous choice for Emily who came from contrasting family background. In an unfortunate turn of events, he disappears after Emily’s cousins visit her and he is later discovered dead and decomposed in Emily’s house after her death.
He is a elderly mayor at Jefferson. He is very careful in handling the case of strange odor from Emily’s house. He considers her family’s former position in the society and tactfully decides on a clever way to address the problem by sprinkling lime on Grierson’s property at night. He is portrayed as a respectful and old wise man.
He is the father to Emily and the author portrays him as a very controlling and domineering person even in death. His influence destroys her daughter’s life as it seems to be hanging on her head even decades into his death. He thwarts her daughters attempts to be married and controls her social life. Eventually, she is never married and instead develops a strong resentment to starting her own family. He is also the main villain in the story and represents the bad of family, society and poor parenting.
She is Emily’s servant and very secretive. Her voice is described to have become rustic as she barely talked, purportedly due to lack of use. The author portrays her as Emily’s gateway to the world. For many years she works diligently and tends to Emily’s need till her death. When Emily passed on, she left through the back door and she was never seen again. She ever said a word to anyone of the life at Emily’s house even in her death.
He is the former mayor of Jefferson as at the time setting of the story. He absolves the Griersons their family tax burden after the death of Mr. Grierson though his successors seek to overturn his decision.