Miss Emily in William Faulkner’s short story, “A Rose for Emily,” can be considered as a celebrity. In the story, Miss Emily is depicted as the person in the limelight. She is the woman who people in her town talk about. Her life is the content of gossips and rumors that spread among townsfolk. The interest in Miss Emily’s life as shown in the story is very similar to the interest that people have for celebrities today such as Brittney Spears and Paris Hilton.
Readers come to know of who Miss Emily really is through the thoughts and the story telling of the narrator. The narrator was depicted as a member of townspeople. His interest in the life of Miss Emily is an interest that is shared by most other people in their town. Through his recount of significant events in the life of Miss Emily, readers are able to understand who Miss Emily is. By voicing out his thoughts, the narrator is able to provide readers with further insight into the character of Miss Emily. More importantly, the narrator’s thoughts are very valuable for they allow the readers to understand how the members of the town view Miss Emily. It is through the narrator that Faulkner is able to reveal the character and personality of Miss Emily.
But what really is the character of Miss Emily? Who is she? Based on how the narrator depicts her, Miss Emily is a lonely woman. She is a woman in constant struggle. People may think that she is among the privileged people but in reality, she is not. She, in fact, is a woman who must live a life full of constraints. First, Miss Emily’s mother was in total control of her life while he was alive. She could not establish relationships with men for her father turned every man away. When her father died, Miss Emily found herself in disarray. She was lonely and distraught for the loss of her father changed her life completely. Another constraint in Miss Emily’s life is the fact that people are constantly watching her. People await every move she makes. Thus, she has to live up to a certain reputation, not just her own but her whole family and their legacy as well. This personality remains all though out the story. Miss Emily knew that people were always trying to know what was going on in her life. Time did not change the fact that she had a reputation to live up to. Thus, instead of facing this head on, Miss Emily decided to hide herself away from the town’s prying eyes. Although she did not show herself to anyone, she knew that they were watching her. This belief remained with her until the very end of the story.
William Faulkner was able to successfully create a character that readers could believe. The manner by which the narrator described Miss Emily and the events in her life was very convincing. This is because Faulkner used vivid descriptions. They way by which he described Miss Emily allowed readers to visualize Miss Emily and imagine her in her environment. Without such vivid characterization, readers would not be able to fully understand and believe who Miss Emily really was. Furthermore, Faulkner wrote the story in such a way that everyone else became secondary. He made sure that Miss Emily stood out from the other characters. He merely used other characters as accessories to the life of Miss Emily.
“A Rose for Emily” is a story that follows the life of a celebrity. Miss Emily was the center of the attention in her town. This attention is the very reason why she hid in her big house, away from the prying eyes of the town.