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A Rose for Emily

6 Pages 1421 Words

Adapting to Change
William Faulkner examines the theme of adapting to change in “A Rose for Emily.” In the story, Emily Grierson lives a life almost completely free of change. The people around her have taken control of her life, leaving her confused about making a life of her own. Emily allows herself to become trapped from reality. Instead of facing reality, some people find it easier to trick the mind, never adjusting to change. Faulkner shows that people caught in controlling relationships will have a hard time adjusting to change, leaving them lonely and with a loss of reality.
Faulkner explains that victims of controlling life styles have a hard time adapting to change. Emily allowed her father and other people in her community to control her. Throughout her life, the town’s people described Emily as a “hereditary obligation upon the town”, almost as though she owed them her life (81). After the death of her father, the town believed she wanted to “cling” to him because she had allowed him to be the only man in her life (84). It is expected that we would want to hold on to someone if they were all that we knew. Emily was so strictly controlled by her father, that she would become lost without him. She did not have a life of her own. She was even described as “the background” of her father (84). The narrator recalled all of the men in her life that “her father had driven away” (84). Even at thirty years old she “was still single”, implying that by allowing someone else to control your personal life, you could still be affected long into adulthood (84). But the town’s people agreed that she would never change her father’s ways, saying that she “would not think seriously” about dating a man like Homer Barron (84). They also felt that she held “her head high” to prove that she deserved dignity because of her family’s last name (85). The town’s people believed that Emily wo...

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