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Feminist Critique of A Rose for Emily

The following essay provides a feminist critique of William FaulknerÆs A Rose for Emily, arguing that the narrator in the short story represents the voice of white southern society while Miss EmilyÆs actions amount to a rebellion against those values. The essay reveals Miss EmilyÆs condition as a virtual ôprisonerö of the men in her life, a condition that forces her to take matters into her own hands when her beau, Homer Barron, rejects her. Despite arguments that Miss Emily eventual reverts to adhering to southern values by killing Homer, a Yankee, this analysis argues that her murder of Homer represents the ultimate rebellion against southern values because it is her way of forever keeping her relationship with a northern day laborer ôalive.ö There is evidence provided, however, that Homer Barron may have been homosexual and this is why he rejects Miss Emily. Despite her rejection of southern, patriarchal values and forces, Miss EmilyÆs action forces her to become a prisoner once more, locked away forever in her own home. Even so, the town remains complicit in Miss EmilyÆs crime because of its imposed values. A conclusion maintains that despite her rebellion against the patriarchal values of southern society, Miss Emily pays the ultimate price for rebelling against them.

With a protagonist who is the epitome of the values of an ideal southern woman, FaulknerÆs (1931) short story A Rose for Emily readily lends itself to a feminist critique. A feminist critique often focuses on how women in literature are a product of patriarchal social forces that have actually kept women oppressed. With a narrator who serves as the voice of ôwhite southern society,ö according to Dilworth (1999), the character of Miss Emily rebels against the values of a male dominated white southern society by engaging in a relationship with a ôYankeeö laborer in the person of Homer Barron. Miss Emily has been subjected to male dominated opp...

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Feminist Critique of A Rose for Emily. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 06:03, May 31, 2020, from