Fall of Emily

Life is fickle and most people will be a victim of circumstance and the times. Some people choose not to let circumstance rule them and, as they say, time waits for no man. Faulknerís Emily did not have the individual confidence, or maybe self-esteem and self-worth, to believe that she could stand alone and succeed at life especially in the face of changing times. She had always been ruled by, and dependent on men to protect, defend and act for her. From her Father, through the manservant Tobe, to Homer Barron, her life was reliant on men. The few flashes of individuality showed her ability to rise to the occasion, to overcome her dependency, when the action was the only solution available. Like buying the poison or getting money by offering china-painting classes. Life is sad and tragic; some of which is made for us and some of which we make ourselves.

Emily had a hard life. Everything that she loved left her. Her father probably impressed upon her that every man she met was no good for her. The townspeople even state, When her father died, it got about that the house was all that was left to her; and in a way, people were glad being left alone. [. . .] She had become humanized (Faulkner 505). This sounds as if her fatherís death was a sort of liberation for Emily. In a way it was, she could begin to date and court men of her choice and liking. Her father couldnít chase them off any more. But then again, did she have the know-how to do this, after all those years of her fatherís past actions? It also sounds as if the townspeople thought Emily was above the law because of her high-class stature. Now since the passing of her father she may be like them, a middle class working person.

Unfortunately for Emily, she became home bound. She didnít socialize much except for having her manservant Tobe visit to do some chores and go to the store for her. Faulkner depicts Emily and her family as a high social class. Emily did carry herself with dignity and people gave her that respect, based from fear of what Emily could do to them. Emily was a strong willed person especially when she went into the drug store for the arsenic. She said, Arsenic. [...] I want arsenic (Faulkner 506). All along, the druggist wanted to know what she wanted it for and she answered back, I want the best you have. I donít care what kind (Faulkner 506). Needless to say, the druggist never got an answer. The druggist gave Emily poison out of fear and respect, possibly.

Yes, Emily didnít socialize much, but she did have a gentleman friend, Homer Barron. Homer was a foreman for a road construction company, Faulkner writes a foreman named Homer Barron, a Yankee-a big, dark, ready man, with a big voice and eyes lighter than his face(505). Emilyís father probably would not be pleased with this affair with Homer, considering her upbringing. Homer was a Ďcommonerí and did not fit the social standards of her father. Of course, Emily, like most women dream of getting married and having a family and most of all, being loved. The gossip around town was spreading; the townspeople said, So when she got to be thirty and was still single, we were not pleased exactly, but vindicated; [. . .] She wouldnít have turned down all of her chances if they had really materialized (Faulkner 505). Emily wanted to be loved, and she was determined that Homer would be her true love to rescue her from fear, fear of being alone. Indeed Emily took a great liking to Homer, but Homerís feelings about the relationship were different. It was rumored that even "[. . .] Homer himself had remarked-he liked men, and it was known that he drank with the younger men in the Elkís club-that he was not a marrying man (Faulkner 506). Homer left Emily and the town for three days, and then came back. While Homer was gone, Emily still was preparing for her wedding. She bought invitations and clothes for Homer. Emily grew fearful