“A Rose for Emily” William Faulkner

This is your chance to discuss William Faulkner’s short story, “A Rose for Emily.” What are your comments on the world of Miss Emily? What are your reactions to her situation? Do you sympathize with her, or not?

Feel free to agree, or disagree with your classmates!

34 thoughts on ““A Rose for Emily” William Faulkner

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    Mr. Antonetti

  2. This story turned out to be exceptionally interesting. Even though we did not receive details for Emily’s entire lifetime, I still was able to identify her personality and ways of life. I liked the order of the story because it kept me engaged. The most ironic part to me was when they found Barron in the bed. Once that was stated, I was easily able to connect the arsenic to it.
    `I do sympathize with Emily more than I think I would in normal circumstances. What I mean by normal circumstances was the fact that the reader did not know that Emily was a murderer until after her death. After learning about how strict her father was and how lonely she was I actually felt sorry for her. I can understand why she kilt her lover, even though I do not completely agree with it.

  3. I agree with your views on the order of the events in the story. I wasn’t sure how to feel about Miss Emily, at first, but I finally started to empathize with her situation.

  4. Even though I didnt quite understand the story at first, I still found it very interesting. I thought Emily was somewhat crazy or warped in some way but after reading it a second time I felt that I could relate to Emily, because she was alone and that she just wanted someone to love her. I found it an interesting twist that we find out all the critical information and what happend to Homer Barron at the end. It was like it glued all the other details together.

  5. Miss Emily’s world was bleak and since she was mistreated by her father, it was understanable why she seemed the way she was, expresionless and a bit crazy. It was difficult to understand the story at the beginning of it, but once I got to the end and they found Homer Barron’s corpse on the bed, it all just came together. And although we find out that Miss Emily is a murderer, I still pitied her because all she was looking for was someone to love and to be loved.

  6. Reading the story a second time greatly helped me to better understand the character Emily’s personality. I found it highly interesting to see her battle with her depression and her importance in the town, as the people see her as someone in high ranking. I do think she is a sympathetic character because of her loneliness, which I believe is brought on by her unwillingness to accept change in her life. I noticed how the story kept mentioning the new generation as well as the older Confederate veterans. In my opinion she represents the older and traditional lifestyle.

  7. I have read this story before and yes it is definetly worth reading twice. At first I thought Miss Emily must be crazy but when I read deeper I actually started to feel sorry for her. Of course nothing can justify taking someone’s life but we also have the look at the fact that she was not only mentally unstable but also emotionally unstable. Overall I love this piece of writing because it calls for the reader to dig deeper.

  8. I also agree that at first the story was a little confusing, but I read a couple of parts over and over until I caught on. In the beginning of the short story, I was reminded of the misfit because Emily’s house is symbolic of an era that no longer exists or once existed and has died with her. Like the misfit, the elderly woman, or grandmother, was shot which was symbolic of the south and the southern dying as goes for Emily’s house.
    The overall story seemed sad because Emily was lonely and probably just wanted someone she could enjoy her life with, since her father held her back from that. Although Emily, as we learn at the end, was a murderer, I still have sympathy for her because she was never able to find love and be completely happy.

  9. At first the story was hard to understand, but the ending makes everything clearer. In my opinion, Emily is a little crazy. She sticks to her own traditions, and stays the same as the community begins to change. When Emily bought the poison, I thought she was going to kill herself. At the end of the story everything comes together. Emily has issues on controlling people, after death. Such as not wanting to let the dead body of her father to be buried and not wanting to lose Homer.

  10. The ending of “A Rose for Emily” was ironic, although I could foreshadow that Emily was thinking of a plan to hurt Homer. I didnt think that she would go to the extent of killing and keeping his dead corpse. My reaction to her keeping his body was that she was out of her mind and I did not agree with her at all, but then again in her mind she felt that, that was the only way to get out of the pain he was causing by rejecting her. In my opinion it was too much for her to handle because she could not accept the fact that they weren’t meant for each other.

  11. “A Rose for Emily” was an interesting story. It took me a couple of times to read it to fully grasp what was going on. Many would think that Emily was crazy, after reading the ending. In actuality, Emily is deeply graved by the unfortunate mishaps that have occurred in her life. She acted under the influence of grief, and cannot be fully liable for the way she act. I never assumed that she was going to kill herself, or Homer, but true to Faulkner’s style he adds a twist that is never expected, and sometimes can be missed.

  12. I think we must take into account that Miss Emily is representative of a particular aspect of the south, a particular time. If this is so, what is her killing of Homer really about, on a figurative level?

  13. In reading this short story, i never anticipated that Emily was going to kill her self, let alone kill Homer at first but as i read it again, i could kind of see where the story was going. We kind of got the sense that she was trying to buy love at first because of all the things she bouqht men. i enjoy Faulkner’s writing style. to me he writes in a sense that leaves you in suspense because you never expect somethings in the story to hapeen.

  14. This story was a very different story. First, like everyone else said, the story was very confusing. The story was not in anyway, in any type of sequence. Emily was a lady who stayed in the Old South, while everyone was adjusting to the New South. Emily, in my opinion, was a very weird woman. She liked to stay in the past. She killed her husband and slept in the same bed with his corpse. That brings me to Homer. Homer was a man that was hiding his sexual prefrences by being with Emily. I felt that Homer was the one bringing Emily down. Furthermore, I totally agree with what one student said in our class today, “Isn’t it ironic that Homer was building a New South, and slowly bringing down Emily by tearing the Old South.” I totally agree with that. The part that I really appreciated in the story, was the ending part. The ending part basically put everything in place, and let us know what went on in that small paragraph. Overall, this was a very interesting story.

  15. “A Rose for Emily” was an interesting short story. Faulkner included things in the novel to get the readers to think and to somehow relate to the story. I have sympathy for Emily because I have grieved over a loved one and i understand the ways that she is feeling. One thing in the novel that I did not like was how Emily’s journey through life was no explained thoroughly. Other than that the novel was catching and I was able to relate to it.

  16. “A Rose for Emily” was quite confusing at first, but as I kept reading It became clearer and I began to understand somewhat. There were certain parts in which I had to read more than once,but it only gave me a clear understanding about what was going on in the story. Miss emily was a very strange character and was misunderstand by several peoples of the town. The misconception that the people ha about her was for obvious reasons. One thing that was strange to me was how Miss Emily found it hard to accept that fact that her father had died…. But the story over all was interesting and I did like it especially the end which turned out to be kind of creepy yet obvious in a way. I allso like that way the story explained the change of Miss Emilt over that years and how she was or became when it came to her fathers death and her husband.

  17. “A Rose for Emily” started off confusing me. As the story went on i started to understand the story and the pain for Emily. She was missing out on love. Although she was simply lonely and hurt i believe she was crazy. How can you kill someone and then sleep in the same bed with them? On top of that killing herself and Homer. No matter how bad i was hurt i would never kill myself. Other than her few crazy ways i believe this was a really great novel.

  18. The short story “A Rose for Emily” was quite an interesting story. Faulkner used a vey unique style of writting. So unique that I had to go back over some parts and read it a completely understand it. There were some things I that I didn’t like. For example, how the part about her dad and her taxes were not fully explained. But I did like how he went from the past to the present. That was quite interesting. The story overall was okay.

  19. In “A Rose for Emily” we are exposed to Faulkner’s common themes of flashbacks, deranged persons,dark mysteries, and death. In the beginning of the story, we learn that Emily Grierson has died. Then we are blasted back and forth during her life and introduced to Homer Barron; which she later poisons at the end. Emily’s world was probably perfect in every way since her family was well known and revered in the community. And she was probably used to getting everything she desired. So when she was denied by Homer because of his sexual preferences, it was reasonable for her to go beserk. Of course you would be angry if anyone rejected you, but it is not enough to murder them. Therefore, I do and don’t sympathize with Emily. It is great to get revenge on one who let you down, but it is not logical to kill them.

  20. “A Rose for Emily” brought srought suspense to me the reader. Faulkner often writes like this to addd to his work. I did not expect Miss Emily to kill Homer. She was hurt because of what he wanted and she obviously did not take rejection well. In response to “riverdaleap”, I see Miss Emilly killing Homer as killing the new south. Miss Emily would represent the old south. Also the title was extremely significant to Miss Emily. A roses usually represents love, adoration, or symbloizes relationships. For Miss Emily it was a catharsis.

  21. When I read “A Rose for Emily” at the first part with the given text, I know from the start that she appeared to be popular amongst the townspeople since they attend to her funeral and even have a narrator. Faulkner must have some sort joy twisting around misguided information, because the narrator spoke so kindly of her at the beginning until he/she revealed that Emily is a broken lunatic with attachment issues. Faulkner set the narrator and other characters up to have questionable backgrounds on their part of the story but the possibilities on what we could identify on these characters varied in a more opinion manner than fact. Sympathy for Emily is rewarded enough with a rose since the rose was the best possible sympathy the New South townspeople could offer for the Old South. To a response to leleAH5th, you see the rose as the symbol for love, adoration, relationships but yet a rose would hurt what ever it touches, wither away eventually, and would demand for what most plants want. If Emily was a rose she would need sunlight often (being caged in a house scratch that out), watered daily ( keeping a corpse and sleeping with it ain’t very hygienic) and probably need to get other rose cared tips but I guess that’s already too late.

  22. The story “A Rose for emily” was very interesting and unique to me. The way Faulkner wrote the story gives it a taste of mystery, which makes you want to know what is the next event going to be. Emily was a well known and respected lady, nobody would have thought of the pain she was going through for years, starting with her dad who was very strict. Certain people might not understand her, but i do. I feel sympathy for her, because she was never happy, and when she killed her husband it was for her own benefit, to be free at last. Emily still had Homer’s body after killing him, it shows that she still had love for him and care for him.

  23. A Rose for Emily was a very complex but very interesting. Some of the scenes left me astonished and amused. This story is a prime example to what being alone may lead to. Everyone needs someone by their side, a confidant. If you don’t have one, your mind begins to run wild because you become in search of that person that you have been missing in your life. The story seems to run around everywhere and at first it confused me. There were times when I had to go back just to understand what was happening. The ending is very horrific and it also leaves you on a cliff hanger. Whose head was in the pillow?

  24. A Rose for Emily is a story that is very hard to follow, due to the style of event ordering that the author used. After reading it twice, I was still clueless on what it was about. It wasn’t until after the explanation that Mr. Antonetti gave in class in addition to Sparknotes that I understood it. I was very surprised at what I learned about the story after reading professional analysis compared to my reading the story, which proved that I need better reading comprehension. The way that Faulkner symbolized the North and South in his characters is amazing. I was also amazed at how Faulkner gave characteristics to his characters through their actions rather than stating them outright; such as how Ms. Emily is the type of person that doesn’t let go of things easily, this is shown by how she was reluctant on giving up her father’s body and how she didn’t bury Homer at all.

  25. I completely agree with everyone when they say that it was hard to grasp the beginning of the story. The method that Faulkner uses by scattering the plot in different areas in the story made it more confusing. The story was surprising to me because I have read novels from different authors that uses the same method but was able to distingush the transition between the different time period. I admire the fact that Faulkner thought to add the quality of a person being so obessed with someone that he or she rather kill the one they love then to have that person to leave them in the story but Faulkner just intensified the obession when at the end the townspeople discovered that Emily kept Homer’s dead body in the bed with her for all those years. The end defiantly spark a chilling reaction out of me and this is one of those stories i cannot read the end more than once beacuse of that creepy feeling.

  26. “A Rose For Emily” is a good short story in helping me analyze literature. Realizing that i needed to reread it more than once helped me catch some key elements in the story that i may have missed the first time. I was able to understand why gothic themes were used by Faulkner, and why he used tragedy in order to develop the characters he used. Through Emily the struggle she had with these elements is seen with the death of her father and Homer which had a correlation also with the conflict of the Old and New South…

  27. When I read “A Rose for Emily” for the first time, I felt the text was vague in explaining what the conflict in the story was. But after reading it the second time, I started to realize her plights- the loss of her father, the seclusion of her house, her love interest had uh, issues? and so on. What intrigued me the most however was the scene where eagerly buys the most toxic poison from the drugstore owner (arsenic), and when he questions her about what her uses for it are, she stares him down till he leaves. The atmosphere in that scene is so heavy, we don’t know whether she stared him down out of pride, or to conceal or secret- or whether his silence meant that he knew what she might want to do and pitied her as the rest of the town did, or that he was afraid so misfortune might befall him if was persistent in his interrogation. All in all, the story was tragic. TRAGIC!

  28. When I read a Rose for Emily, i thought it was very interesting. I never thought to catch the surprise in the end. Who would of ever thought Emily was keeping Homer with her the whole time in the attic?!!! Overall, a good short story and very mind twisting.
    P.S. Emily didn’t have to kill Homer just because she had her own losses………or did she???????? LOL

  29. Overall was a good book. Past the end of the book, commentary can be found by Faulkner. I admire the fact that he is able to write stories of this magnitude because – as he stated himself- he doesn’t just write stories, he writes about scenarios that could actually occur.Also, his perplexing ability to interpret,the smallest of actions or objects and turn that into significantly major symbols, themes, and devices. Keep in mind that these scenarios could happen. Concerning ” A Rose for Emily”, I liked how the story was played. The plot was not given away and had to be read a multitude of times on order for it to be understood correctly. The end was surprising, i did not expect Homer to be found in her bed. Emily’s constant internal and external battles proved to be too much for her sanity to handle.

  30. Most books written by Faulkner are good and as expected ‘A Rose for Emily’ was pretty intriguing as well. To start off the book it left me a bit puzzled but when I kept reading further into the story things became clearer. One thing that surprised me was the fact that Homer was homosexual because I did not catch that the first time I read. That made me realize the importance in “reading things more than once”. Overall the story was good and like many of Faulkner’s stories it takes time to understand but you eventually understand and instantly become engaged.

  31. Surprisingly, I can say that I truly enjoyed this story. Faulkner’s sense of style and his willingness to write about situations that can and will possibly happen. While reading the earlier parts of the story, I assumed of course that Miss Emily was the town fool, similar to Shadrack from Sula. Hearing that she kept the carcass of her father in her house with her and would not allow anyone to take his body, as well as her killing Northern construction man Homer Barron simply because he was going to leave her. All of these qualities lead to my assumption of Miss Emily being crazy until I found out her struggle with herself and her troubling past. Now that I know what irked Miss Emily and made her the person she is, I respect her much more as well as this story. William Faulkner certainly knows how to make the reader think one thing and then find the truth upon finishing the story. I’m hoping that one of my fellow readers agrees with my synopsis on Miss Emily.

  32. Of course, I didn’t fully comprehend the story after reading it for the first time. However, as I read it again, I understood the details and events of the story. I like the story because it presented a character that was symbolic to conservatism (Emily) and a character that was symbolic to liberalism (Homer), and it embodies the struggle between such. I didn’t understand why Emily killed Homer, until I found out that he was trying to leave her. I naturally sympathize with her because of the fact that she has been deprived of so much in her childhood, and that she was willing to hold on to whatever she had, even if it meant killing her friend.

  33. In “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner, I do sympathize with Miss. Emily because I believe that she was truly lonely and misunderstood by the community. When I first read this story in a previous year I somewhat uderstood it, but now after a second and third reading I understand it better. Overall I ejoyed the story. Miss. Emily was the outcast of the town. I also agree skinnyminiDC4th that the story left you wondering whose head imprint was left in the pillow.

  34. After reading a “Rose for Emily”, I felt empathy for her because I understood what she was going through. What was surprising to me was how Emily kept Homer in the attic the whole time. Just because her past relationships didn’t work out she didn’t have to kill him. She was afraid that she was going to lose someone again thats why she reacted the way she did and kept his body. There’s no point of being with a homosexual because he doesn’t love you. I liked this story and it was easy to comprehend.

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