Motivation for "A Rose for Emily"

Topics: Motivation, William Faulkner, The Mansion Pages: 3 (1054 words) Published: September 12, 2013
Motivation for “A Rose for Emily”
It is in the human nature to want to have a sense of belonging and to be a part of something bigger, making it difficult to maintain moral decisions. The main character in William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily” faces moral challenges created by the pressure of wanting to conform to the town’s expectations while still trying to maintain a sense of independence, which ultimately leads up to the motivation to murder of Homer Barron. By holding high expectations, directly interfering in Emily’s life and relationship, and the constant widespread gossip from the Townspeople of Jefferson are the main motivation for the murder of Homer Barron. Emily Grierson, being the last Southern lady of the Antebellum South was held at a high expectation by the townspeople of Jefferson (Faulkner 160). As Thomas Dilworth points out, the townspeople had wanted to preserve the values of the old south through the embodiment of Emily (252).Faulkner even says that, “Alive, Miss Emily had been a tradition, a duty, and a care: a sort of hereditary obligation upon the town (156).” He is implying that the town’s people see that Emily has this hereditary duty to the town. These high expectations were carried over into Miss Emily’s personal sexual needs where she is expected to keep the appearance of a pure southern lady that can be compared to that of Eve from the Garden of Eden (Dilworth 253). Although Emily does rebel against the town for two years by dating a blue-collar construction worker and Yankee Homer Barron in attempt to not conform to the Jefferson townspeople’s expectations of a southern lady (Dilworth 251).The town’s hard to live up to standards are a part of the motivational reasoning that leads up to Emily murdering Homer and keeping his body in a necrophiliac relationship. Being raised by her father, Emily has always known about the expectations that were to be met, because of who her family is; however, this means that Emily’s personal life...

Cited: Dilworth, Thomas. “A Romance to Kill For: Homicidal Complicity in Faulkner’s ‘A Rose for Emily.’” Studies in Short Fiction 36 (1999): 251-62. Academic Search Premier. Web. 30 Dec. 2012.
Faulkner, William. “A Rose for Emily.” The Seagull Reader. 2nd ed. Ed. Joseph Kelly. New York: Norton, 2007. 155-164. Print.
Wallace, James M. “Faulkner’s ‘A Rose for Emily.’” Explicator 67.4 (1992): 105-07. Academic Search Premier. Web. 30 Dec. 2012.
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