The Destruction of Emily in William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily

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"Respectful affection for a fallen monument" (Faulkner 145). Miss Emily was a lady portraying the pure essence of Southern refinement. This idol could not be understood or related to but simply uphold without question. Her way of life was not one of struggle but of status. She was lost in her own reality of the present, still as a rose frozen in time. This woman, the delicate flower of the community, was lost in her own perception and belief of the world. Emily was given compassion without request due to her label and status of being a lady that eventually contributed to her own destruction.

"Emily is exempted from the general indictment because she is a real lady-that is, eccentric, slightly crazy, obsolete, a ‘stubborn and
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"See Colonel Satoris. I have no taxes in Jefferson" (Faulkner 146). Emily played her role to perfection, which cast a lady and reinforced a history that nobody was really strong enough to give up. Her status reaffirmed the fragments of myth the townspeople held dear to. This traditional perspective taken by the community is what gave Emily the upper hand in any situation that confronted her in the so-called life she acted out. "According to the traditional view, ‘his word’ knew no death" (West 68). This stance which Emily toyed with, but firmly believed was constant giving her immunity even when the up and coming generation tried to put an end to her world view. "Will you accuse a lady to her face of smelling bad?" (Faulkner 147). Even though the ‘rising generation’ is muffled, they still continue to progress essentially being the one enemy to Emily, without her even acknowledging the fact of their existence.

"It is the Past pitted against the Present—the Past with its social decorum, the Present with everything set down in the books" (West 68). Emily has skewed off the time line existence and does not wish to return or compromise. The life instilled by her father has become the belief system in which has stuck her in time. Confusion is the essential ingredient to her cosmology of life along with the isolation without her father are primary reasons for the confusion that ‘poor Emily’ suffered from. "None of the young men were quite

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