A Rose For Emily

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Freezing Time In William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily," the element of time is crucial. Critics, such as Ray B. West Jr., discuss the confusion of time in this short story. "It is the Past pitted against the Present" (West 149). When we first meet Miss Emily, somewhere within her clothing she carries in her pocket an "invisible watch, ticking at the end of a gold chain" (Faulkner 82). The comprehension of the significance of this watch is crucial for understanding Miss. Emily's need to control change with time.

The analogy used, "having something in one's pocket," demonstrates keeping under one's personal control. By wearing the watch in her pocket, rather than on her wrist, Emily proves her effort of trying to take control of time. In her way of thinking, if she reserves time, she can resist change. For her, she feels, change will only involve loss.

The evidence of her desire to keep life from changing, is illustrated by her unwillingness to have her father's body removed and buried. Emily's denial for three days that her father is dead, supports her control of change. "Just as they were about to resort to law and force, she broke down, and they buried her father quickly" (Faulkner 82). When they came to her house to pick up Mr. Grierson's body, she demonstrates the denial of change by dressing as if it is a regular day.

Another extreme example of Emily's need to control change, is by poisoning Flores 2 Homer and placing him carefully in the upstairs room. When he tells Emily that he does not want to marry her, she is afraid of being alone again. In her mind, killing him is the only way to keep a part of him in her life forever. In...