William Faulkner's 'A Rose for Emily': An Analysis

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Consider Faulkner's own words as you think about "A Rose for Emily." In his Nobel Prize acceptance speech, Faulkner said, ""¦the young man or woman writing today has forgotten the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself which alone can make good writing because only that is worth writing about, worth the agony and the sweat." How is "A Rose for Miss Emily" a story about the human heart in conflict with itself? In William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily," the protagonist Miss Emily Grierson is unable to perceive the realities of her existence. When her father dies, Emily refuses to allow people into the house, because she cannot conceive of life without Colonel Sartoris. Miss Emily refuses to pay taxes, despite the clearly false pretence used by the Colonel to justify the family's non-payment. And most tragically, Emily wants to be loved but when she is rejected, she murders the man she desires rather than admits that she is a fallen woman, who has had intercourse with a man who will not marry her. Emily has a certain ideal of who she is, and cannot process information which stands in contradiction to this image. She wants to be the pure, virginal daughter of the Colonel and Homer's beloved at the same time, but she cannot and the ways that men treat her to honor the conventions of chivalry often hurts rather than helps Emily. During her early life, when the Colonel was still alive, Miss Emily clearly yearned for a connection with others. But in the Colonel's
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