In 1998, Lou Etta Bowen asked, "I need to know about the adjectives in part IV in "A Rose for Emily" and how they relate to her personality in each part. Can anyone help?"
In 1999, Julie wrote:
"The adjectives are
|"dear" ( dear to her father)|
|"inescapable" (Homer's decaying smell)|
|"tranquil" (her life after the murder)|
|"perverse" (keeping Homer in the rose-colored room)|
In short, Ms. Grierson was CRAZY."
In 1998, C. Garner considered how the townspeople saw Emily Grierson:
|Obviously w/ a little research into Faulkner's "A Rose...," you will see many different motives that have been subjected by critics and students, but which is the overwhelming
winner? The way I see it, the narrator, who is in the third person at times, is quite possibly a collection of people from the new generation who have opinions on the gossip they have collected. What
I am asking is how much of that opinion has slipped out into the narration and how credible is gossip anyway.
Homer could be playing for the other team, and reason enough for Emily to poison him. But that is just gossip that may have been swayed by a conclusion one of, or all the narrators have allowed
to, unconsciously possibly, misrepresent the story.
The chronology of the story is of fierce debate amongst critics and with good reason. But, if you notice, the entire story is dotted with presumption and foreshadowing up to the point where the body is discovered. Could this be because the narration is based solely on gossip, or at least until the body is discovered. I think this is the only first-hand experience the narrators have with Emily, and they do not contribute any opinions at that moment because they are just telling in detail what they actually observed.
These are just the opinions I have developed, so take them w/ a grain of salt.
Ana (2002) finds life imitating art: "Ten days ago in Puerto Rico something almost identical to the story happened. A body of a dead woman was found living room of her condo (by the way in a very exclusive and expensive area in Puerto Rico)...she'd been there for about three months. A few days later, the body of her husband was found in a locked bedroom...he had been dead for seven or eight years... Believe or not, this woman's name was Emily. You can confirm this by going to Puerto Rico's local newspapers online. One that is covering the story closely is www.primerahora.com (a newspaper online in Spanish). It is really scary and disturbing when fiction becomes reality."
A few contributors to the forum tried to suggest that Emily was not a white woman. Stacie (2003) gives the definitive rebuttal to that mistaken notion--
"Someone had stated that they thought Emily to be black based on the line speaking about all Negro women wearing aprons. I must admit that I also felt that Emily was black when I initially started reading the story. However, it becomes quite apparent throughout the story that she is not. Aside from the obvious reasons (rich southerners were not black), Faulkner makes it very clear to the reader when a black person enters the scene. He refers to all of the black people in the story by their color. This is especially apparent with Tobe. We do not learn Tobe's name until the narrator tells us that Emily called for him. Until that point, he is referred to as, 'The Negro.' This is especially significant because we know that the narrator knows 'The Negro's' name is Tobe. However, the narrator chooses to refer to him as The Negro instead throughout the entire story. This example, and other examples where Faulkner terms all black characters in the story, prove that Emily is white. If she were black, Faulkner certainly would have referenced her race as he did for all of the other black characters."