Why did Emily become so reclusive?
Amy - I think Emily became so reclusive after her father died. I think this was because she had such a strong connection with her father and considered him her only real equal that she began to become something of a hermit. Later on when she loses Homer she refuses to come out at all so she can spend all of her time with him.
OK call me a dumb blonde but what happened in the end? I don’t understand what the big revelation was. Can someone please explain.
Why do you think William Faulkner kept repeating, “Poor Emily”? How did this enhance the story?
amyw - because she had a lot of trajedy occur to her and she killed a guy and kept his dead body in her house for 30 years.
Jordan - What happened is that Emily was keeping Homer's dead body in the bed and spending every night lying next to him.
Jordan- No worries, I don't get what happened either, and I'm a brunette! Haha!
jordans---Homer was never seen again after a certain point, and it was because she murdered him in his sleep. His corpse was in the bed, decaying, and there was a strand of her hair on the bed. I don't know why she killed him, however. Does anyone know or have a guess?And no, you're not a dumb blonde :), it was kind of confusing to me too.
I also had a bit of an awkward question. Did anyone else think that Homer was gay? It says on page six that "he himself had remarked - he liked men....he was not a marrying man"
morganw- Did she really kill that one guy? I don't think she did. I was tired when I read it last night, guaranteed, but I don't recall her killing him. I thought that he died and she loved him so much that she just kept him in her house for the rest of her life because she wanted him to be with her.
Why do you think she felt compelled to keep him with her? Was their connection that strong? Did she just not want to lose another loved one? Thoughts?
Amy~I think that she became so reclusive because she went through a lot of emotional struggles, and that this changed her forever. I think that it might also be because she may have been very close to her father, and she felt lonely without him.
amyw- Where does it say that she killed him?!!? Someone help me please.
Lauren- I got that feeling too. But, after I knew he was with Emily, I knew he wasn't, but I definitely got that feeling from that passage.
What do you think William Faulkner was trying to say about our society today? Why were the characters in the story so intrigued on Emily’s life but not their own? Did anyone get the feeling that he was saying that we, as a society, need to care for other people (like Emily) but not watch and JUDGE their every move?
Jordan and Morgan- I think that the main point was saying that she poisoned the man and then she got so lonely and was in so much denial she just poisoned herself because it wasn't worth living any more!
laurenc---I thought it was also because her father sheltered her and she was clinging to him even though he "robbed her of so much" (as it said in the story). Do you think this is possible?
lizc- She bought the poison, and there was that horrid smell for a few weeks. These are all clues as to what happened (that she killed him)
jordans - Emily killed Homer and then kept his dead body in her house for 30 years. It's quite disgusting.
Amy It really seemed like Emily was afraid after losing two male figures to let people into her life. She was afraid of getting hurt again.
macm- maybe she just suffered mentally like all of the other people in gothic stories. Haha. She probably just loved him a lot.
Mac- I think it was just that she was so lonely that she needed someone with her, in this case, Homer. There is something terribly morbid about it, but I definitely think she was so lonely that she just needed someone with her.
liz - I'm pretty sure she killed him with the arsnic because he was gay and was going to leave her to go back up north.
Why do you think Emily was in denial about her father's death?
lizc- That's what I thought when I read the ending. I thought that Emily was so infatuated with Homer that she kept him, even though he was dead. I didn't initially think that she killed him.
What do you guys think of her butler or whatever? I mean, he looked after her all of those years, why did he do that? What relationship did he have with her do you think? Because after she died, it said he walked out the back door and was never seen again.
hannahl- but how do we know that she used the poison to kill him? My impression was that she was going to kill herself with the poison because she was so depressed and held back.
morgant - yeah..I was thinking I may have misenterpreted the passage but I disscused it with my mom and we both came to the conclusion that we think Home and Emily were just very good friends but she wanted more from him and that's why she killed him. So that she could eternally be with him. Do you think that could be possible?
Alex-I think that the repetion of "poor Emily" allows the reader to choose whether they hate her for what she did, pity her, or not blace any blame upon her.
I think the inner circl brought up a good point with the usage of "We" instead of "I". I read Anthem by Ayn Rand for an ALIS book this summer and it was similar to this, in the sense that when the narrator talked about himself he'd say "we". I think this might be because the whole town wanted to know what was happening to Emily. So when the narrator spoke about or asked a question about her, they were speaking not only on their behalf but also on the behalf of the whole town.
alexf---"Poor Emily" created a juxtaposition. It's like, oh, she's this innocent woman who lost her dad and was sheltered all her life, she's a recluse, she has no friends, etc. Then in the end she murders a man and keeps him in her house, proving that she's not innocent at all. It's the uncanny (again!); it was unnatural and unexpected that a woman like herself would commit murder.
Morgant- Gasp! Do you think that her butler man loved her? Maybe he killed Homer because he loved her and wanted her for himself!
@Liz: That's honestly something we have to assume. I thought originally that it was just because he was dead and she wanted to be with him forever, but now that I think of it murdering seems like the most logical response. The only drawaway from that solution is her buying a suit...
Mattn - Good point. Laurenc - I'm almost positive that he was gay. That would explain why she would kill him.
marissas- I think she was just grieving, and especially since he was the only person in her life, she had to cling on to him for a few days before facing reality.
Ooo! Ok well now that I know what went down…. I noticed that when they were describing her coping with her father’s death that she didn’t even comprehend that he was truly dead maybe she had a hard time admitting that Homer was dead. Do you think she has some significant infatuation with dead people? Did she feel more connected to them? What was the significance of the title?
Amy - You're probably right. The Father did shelter her quite a bit and I was under the impression that she also thought she was too good for everyone else.
LizC~Wow, I never thought of the fact that she may not have killed him! Huh, in my above comment I was saying that William Faulkner was trying to say that our society is too judgmental! Well, now to be a total hypocrite, I just assumed that she had killed him…but there is absolutely no evidence that she did! Was he trying to get us to assume and judge her?
lizc---It said it at the end; there was basically a decaying corpse in the bed in the room upstairs that hadn't been opened for 40 years until she died.
morganw- you think he is gay? Wow. Do you have any textual support for the idea?
lizc- Ok, so she loved him. My Grandma died and I didn't keep her around. I also didn't kill her. Why would she keep him if she didn't love him enough to keep herself from killing him?
I have a clarification question. Could someone explain the significance to this sentence on page 7:"We were really glad. We were glad because the 2 female cousins were even more Grierson than Miss Emily had ever been." The narrators were talking about how they were sure that Homer and Emily were married.I was also wondering what the significance to arsenic was and why Emily ever wanted it in the first place? Why was this even added to the story because it seemed very random to me?
Woah Morgan; you think he is gay? Did I miss something? What gave you this impression? I def thought that he just didnt want to marry her?
MorganT~ yea i for sure agree that the butler was a weird character. I think that the butler was behind everything!!
Lauren- That is a good thought, but I think they actually had a connection. I read something that Morganw said, she said that Emily may have killed him because she loved him and didn't want him to leave, but because he was gay he was going to leave her and go up north. That was also a good thought, but I think they actually did have a connection and she just needed him with her.
lizc- I thought that she was using the poison to kill herself also. If she didn't die right after she bought it, then that must mean she used it to kill the other man.
Why is the story called "A Rose for Emily" when there isn't any clear significance of the red thorny flower?
Melissa - The townspeople were reffering to the selfishness and stuck up attitude of the Greisons and so having three of them annoyed the townspeople extremely.And aresnic is a poison I believe...I'm not sure how it differs from other poisons though.
Alex~I think that he repeated "Poor Emily" because it created a feeling that the whole town felt. Also I was wondering if you noticed that tone went from "Poor Emily" to feeling happy that she was going to get married, and then back to "Poor Emily" again. What is the significance of this, or did it really have any?
austind- there is no significance in a rose? It is a hugely significant symbol, because it is a paradox between beauty and pain.
Lauren~ yeah I was thinking he was gay as well. I think maybe she killed him to gain ultimate control over their “future” together, she couldn’t accept her father’s death and can’t accept Homer’s sexuality.
hannahl - I gave textual support for the gay theory earlier in the blog. See page 6 for more.
At first I thought she killed the man but now that I think about it, it's totally possible that the butler used the poison to do it because HE loved Emily. If so, why didn't Emily disown him or fire him? If he did kill the man she loved why would she keep him around? Or am I just confused?
hannanl - Yes, on page six just under section IV. "Then we said, 'She will persuade him yet,' because Homer himself had remarked - he liked men, and it was known that he drank with the younger men in the Elk's Club - that he was not a marrying man."
MacM~Maybe (since this is a gothic story and is obviously disturbing) she did kill her her BF/husband, because she loved him too much. It said that he didn’t want to get married, and maybe she couldn’t stand that so, in order to prevent him from leaving, she killed him.
Ah. I figured that, but I kind of expected there was actually a physical rose somewhere in there. I just kind of realized that after I asked as always happens.
Sabrina- If you read from the end of page 6 to the top of 7, it talks about how Homer liked quys,"...Homer himself had remarked-he liked men, and it was known that he drank with the younger men in the Elk's Club-that he was not marrying man." I also took this as meaning he was gay. I just think this is very odd and wouldn't the towns people think that the connection between Homer and Emily and Homer and other men was very weird.
austind- I think the rose signifies Emily's love for Homer. She had to have had an intense love for him because she slept next to him every single night even though he was dead. Whether she killed him or not, her love for him was clear. The rose is a symbol for that. Even though he was dead, Homer was hers forever. At least until she herself died.
For all of you wondering about the whole gay thing...Chapter IV:"...because Homer himselft had remarked he liked men, and it was known that he drank with the younger men in the Elks' Club that he was not a marrying man."@MattN- Yea, I thought the butler was very suspicious, I don't know what his deal was but I was kind of wondering why he helped Emily all those years, and he was the only one who really knew Emily.
Thank you Lauren, that helps so much! I understand that much better.
Jordan - I agree. I think if Emily murdered Homer it was so she could spend an eternity with him and essentially make him what she wanted him to be.
alexf- That's an interesting theory I didn't think about. Many times in literature love is more trouble than it's worth.
Melissa - You're welcome!
Just for clarification- I don't necessarily think Homer was gay, I just am considering it as a possibility. :)
A lot of you have asked about the significance of the title. I was wondering that, also, but I think I have an idea. When people die, people bring flowers to their grave or death site, out of respect and remorse. Maybe this signifies how people felt bad for Emily when she died, and she received flowers, such as roses. Not sure, but just an idea!
Matt- Yea, the butler was an interesting character to me... I was wondering why he helped Emily all those years. He knew her better than anyone.What do you guys think about him?
alexf- With all my heart I want her to be innocent. Honestly, you can turn the story either way and she could have killed him or someone else could have. Maybe she did because she didn't want him to leave, but maybe someone else did because they loved her. I truly can't decide which has more evidence.
MorganT- I totally think is is gay for sure!!! that is why i thought the whole story didn't make any sense!!
Amy~I would guess that maybe she was afraid to allow anyone else into the house, and that he was the only one who would put up with it. Maybe she was afraid that someone else would ruin her sad life, and change her forever. Maybe she wanted people to feel sorry for her, and that she thought another person would tell the town about her happenings and such. What do you think about this?
If you think about it the butler is really in the hands of Emily. He works for Emily so if Emily didn't want him to know about something or if she didn't want him to tell things about her she had the power to let him go.
@Emily: How odd for you to bring that up? That's a really interesting idea.
I don't understand the context of the title, what does it have to do with the story?
Mac- excellent comment! I believe love almost never worth the pain and work. I saw this story as a representation of how love and pain go hand in hand, and how they together can make people crazy and or be thier downfall.
morganw---Wow, I'd never thought of that. It's totally possible though! She had already fallen in love with him then found out he was gay, and she couldn't stand losing her father and now not being able to marry him, so she killed him to rid herself of these feelings. She didn't want to be hurt a second time, and it's almost like "If I can't have him, then no one can."Also, like meganu said, she slept next to him every night. Even though he was dead, she still loved him and was satisfied because in a strange way he was hers and could never belong to anyone else (including other men).
Ok, now that I am starting to understand the story even better, could someone also help by giving their idea on why the town's people through out the story continually say "poor Emily". What do the people truly think of her and how do the towns people know so much, even with the rat poison, when this woman spends her life in almost total solitude?
Olivia- That's true about the butler, but still he was in her house for all of those years. He knew a lot more than everybody else does in the town.
katep- maybe the butler prevented her from killing herself and then they used it on the man. Oh, maybe instead of killing herself to end the pain she killed him so that she could keep him even if he way gay.
Mattn - It made sense to me...I think Homer was a friend to Emily but Emily desired more from him then just friendship. Maybe she invited him over for dinner or something and that's when she killed him. It was out of her desire to get what she wanted.
Morgan T.~ I think that she stayed with that butler the whole time because she was afraid that someone else would tell the town all about her and what she does. Maybe she figured that he had been faithful all this time, and why would he ever turn on her? Maybe she wanted other people to feel sorry for her...
In the inner circle they are talking about 'love triumphing evil', but what about when a love of someone or something is evil? What if it is hurting others or even yourself? How can love prevail without evil? It reminds me of Oedipus killing unknowingly killing his father and then marrying his mother.
LizC~Haha, tough decisions! I agree that you could turn it either way. Honestly, maybe this story shouldn’t even be considered gothic (no offense Mrs. Leclaire :), I think it fits well) because who knows, it could be just a story of love! We don’t necessarily need to assume that there were murders involved. On the other hand, maybe this is a great gothic story. We could say that Emily had just been so fed up with not being wanted and having all the boys pushed away from her, that when she finally found someone she needed him to stay…for good
chelseas---That could be it; they knew each other very well and he would always stick around and support her. She wouldn't let anyone else in except those she knew wouldn't cause her more pain then she already had felt.
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