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The Mysterious Miss Emiliy

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The Mysterious Miss Emily

Gothic literature combines the elements of horror and romance. The short story "A Rose

for Emily" by the American writer William Faulkner, is a good example of gothic literature.

Faulkner is one of the greatest American writers of the twentieth century because of his variety

of techniques and subject matter. "Faulkner broke conventional linear narrative and filtered his

stories through the individual consciousnesses of his characters"(Hathcock). The setting of the

story is in a small southern town called Jefferson and the characters like the nosy neighbors all

add to the gothic literature. The character Miss Emily is a very mysterious woman because she

almost never comes out of her house, she does not like change in her life, and because death

follows her throughout the story.

In paragraph 15 the narrator says, "After her father's death she went out very little; after

her sweetheart went away people hardly saw her at all". The narrator is referring to Miss Emily

who stays inside of her house. First after her father dies, then after her husband, Homer dies. No

one in the story knows why she stays in her house, except the character Tobe, Miss Emily's care

taker, that is part of what makes Miss Emily so mysterious and adds to the gothic literature

theme. In the story the neighbors all gossip about Miss Emily and try to understand why they do

not see her very often or what exactly she does while she is in her house. In paragraph 28 the

narrator says, "we did not say she was crazy then. We believed she had to do that". The narrator

is referring to what the neighbors are thinking when they go to Miss Emily's house, but she does

not invite them in. After Miss Emily's father died she kept his body inside her house. She did

this because she loved her father too much and could not let him go. This is why she did not leave the

house. She wanted to stay with her father in the house. When her husband Homer died, she also

kept his body in the house for the same reason. The people in the small town do not know this

until the end of the story when they attend Miss Emily's funeral and go to her house. They find

the body of Homer in a locked room, laying there decomposing. They then realize that Miss

Emily is a strange and bizarre woman, but they are not surprised because throughout the whole

story, while the narrator is describing Miss Emily and what she does, Miss Emily does a lot of

strange things that the neighbors notice. The character Miss Emily feels alone and is afraid of

change, that is why she stays in her house and keeps the body in the house with her.

Adding to her mysterious ways, Miss Emily is one who lives in the past. She is afraid of

change. In paragraph 12 Miss Emily says to the sheriff, "see Colonel Sartoris. I have no taxes in

Jefferson." Miss Emily calls the sheriff Colonel Sartoris because she believes that is who he

really is. Even though



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