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A Rose for Emily: Reasons and Motives That Led Emily to Murder Homer, Illuminating the Factors

William Faulkner's short story "A Rose for Emily" provides clues that the reader can choose to acknowledge or ignore, but nowhere in the story does Faulkner clearly state why Emily Grierson murdered Homer Barron. Faulkner has discussed the story, however, and did reveal that it was about how inhumanity toward people can lead to murder. This suggests that the inhumanity that Emily suffered, both at the hands of her father and at those of society, which is rarely kind to women that never marry, may have led to psychological scars that eventually prompted her to murder Homer. Faulkner's insight into the story is a generalized one, however, that does not explicitly provide a motive for the murder, only a sense of the pain that might have affected Emily profoundly enough to make her amenable to the idea of murder. This paper will explore the reasons and motives that led Emily to murder Homer, illuminating the factors that played a part in her actions.

One of the most compelling reasons that Emily murdered Homer is that she was from a time when men took care of women. This "care" included control, and sometimes even tyranny, as in the case of her father, who sent all of Emily's suitors packing. Women were taught to be dependent upon men, and Emily was dependent upon her father, but dependence breeds hostility because it becomes a type of bondage. Her father was particularly controlling, and none of his control belied any cognizance of Emily's needs or what might make her happy. Thus, Emily was in a Catch-22 situation where she needed men but could not have them. Even the men she dated when she lived on her own left her. By murdering Homer, she turned the tables on that particular form of bondage and found a way to "keep" a man. Homer stayed with her-albeit dead-until she died.

Another reason for the murder is that Emily was insane. When her father died, she refused to admit that he was dead for severa...

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A Rose for Emily: Reasons and Motives That Led Emily to Murder Homer, Illuminating the Factors. (1969, December 31). In LotsofEssays.com. Retrieved 20:03, June 19, 2019, from https://www.lotsofessays.com/viewpaper/2001366.html