Critical essay “A Rose for Emily” was the first short story that William Faulkner published in a major magazine. It was published on April 30, 1930 in an issue of Forum magazine. Faulkner was still struggling to make a name for himself before he published this story. “A Rose for Emily” features many characters that make it an interesting story. Three of the ones that most appeal to the reader are Emily Grierson, Homer Barron, and Toby the servant. Emily is the main character in this story; she used to be a vibrant, outgoing young girl who loved socializing with people and spending time with her family.
After her father’s death she transformed into an introverted old woman who spent the rest of her life hiding away in her house, and alienating herself from human contact. Emily’s life was being told through a series of flashbacks. She seems to be living in a world where time ceases to exist. She threatens to have metallic numbers affixed to the side of her house when the town receives modern mail service, she is isolated from reality which constantly threatens to break through her little world.
Emily can be portrayed as some sort of object in this novel because she is always being watched. The townspeople always watch Emily as if she were some sort of object that they knew nothing about. People always wondered what she was doing. They would often see her through her window on some rare occasions, this was considered to be a rare sight since she never left her house. Homer Barron is a foreman from the north. Faulkner describes him as a large man with a dark complexion, a booming voice, and light-coloured hair.
Homer takes interest in Emily and starts taking her out for Sunday drives in his buggy. As the years pass Homers interest in marrying Emily is dramatically decreasing. He disappeared in Emily`s house one day, his corpse was later discovered in one of the rooms in her house. Homer was poisoned by Emily so that he could spend eternity with her; “Then we noticed that in the second pillow was the indentation of a head. One of us lifted something from it, and leaning forward, that faint and invisible dust dry and acrid in the nostrils, we saw a long strand of iron-gray hair. p. 130 The Broadview Anthology of Short Fiction. This quote was taken from the end of the story. Emily’s secret was finally out, all of town now knew what Emily was up to all these years. She was unsecure because she was never able to give up the men who shaped her life. Her father’s corpse for example was released after a fight with the townspeople, Emily had a tough time losing the significant male figures in her life, even though she poisoned one of them. A long strand of steel gray hair was discovered on the pillow next to Homer`s corpse.
This meant that Emily was sleeping next to his corpse ever since she poisoned him. This also shows loneliness in Emily`s character since her father died. She was desperately looking for a way to bring back the memories of when her father was still alive. Toby was Emily`s servant. He was not mentioned a lot in this story, but he was an important figure in Emily`s life. He provided for her whenever she was in need, his communication skills however were gone. Some say that his voice would be rusty since he never used it. Toby was like Emily`s link to society.
He was the only person leaving her house and coming back. The townspeople were always asking Toby questions about Emily or anything that goes on in her house, the townspeople however stopped asking him for information about Emily after a while. After Emily`s death, Toby walks out the back door and is never heard from again. In conclusion, “A Rose for Emily” is a great story with many literary elements that possess a significant meaning in its context. Emily Grierson, Homer Barron, and Toby the servant are only a few characters presented in this short story by William Faulkner.