Love is a many faceted thing. It can be the best feeling in the world, or the bane of your existence. This is one of the central themes in A Rose for Emily, Faulkner s tale of twisted love. But what kind of love is it that pervades the entire text Is it the love of man and woman, the love out of respect for another, or the love of a tradition for years A Rose for Emily embraces all the facets of love, through different people s eyes.
The foremost facet of love portrayed in the story is the love that Emily has for Homer. She dearly loves him, and eventually her love turns into an unhealthy obsession. It is obvious at the climax of the story that Homer did not love Emily as she loved him; in turn, Emily ensures that he will never leave her again, by poisoning him and keeping him in her bed in her dusty, muddled room. Emily loved Homer very deeply, too deeply, in fact. By killing him, Emily insured that he would be forever hers to cherish. The love Emily felt is universal to all people.
We have all felt that unwavering desire for a certain someone; however, most people do not stoop to such levels to guarantee it, as Emily did. The second type of love portrayed in A Rose for Emily is the love given out of respect for another. This is portrayed in Emily s love for her father. Emily s father was cruel and harsh towards her, yet in his dying days Emily showed him nothing but love.
Everyone can relate to this aspect of love. For instance, you do not love your parents in the same way that you love your husband or wife; you love your parents out of respect for them and the many innumerable things they have done for you. This type of love as well is universal to everyone. We know exactly why Emily kept her dead father s rotting corpse in her house with her; he may have been less-than-nice to Emily, but he was the reason Emily was at the position she was in the town. For that, she loved him. The third portray a of love in A Rose for Emily is the love of a tradition.
The townspeople loved Miss Emily; she was their tradition, their legacy, and an object of adoration among the community. The love felt for Emily by the town was not a lover s love, or even a respectful or dutiful love. It was the love of an icon, reverence for a tradition that only that town knew. Nowhere else in the world was there another Miss Emily, and the townspeople loved her for that.
Whether they thought she was a cook, a lunatic, or a murderer, the townspeople still held her high in their hearts. This type of love is evident in everyday life. We love our favorite rock stars, or authors, or fast food restaurants. This is the same kind of love the townspeople felt for Miss Emily.
Throughout A Rose for Emily, Faulkner uses three distinct types of love to portray the different characters. This shows the reader a very lifelike portrait of the people and events in the story. It is that aspect that propels this story into a realistic portrayal of love lost, and the insane degree to which some people will take it. Faulkner weaves an intricate web of the many facets of love, and deserves credit for that from all readers.