A Rose for Emily Setting
Emily is her house. We are not merely reading a story where a character is impacted by her setting; we are reading a story where character and setting are one. Consider the way in which we get to know Emily and the way in which we get to know the home in which she lived.
Faulkner description about Emily shows that the setting of “A Rose for Emily” is on her character. She is forced by the society to stay within her character by obeying the will of her father who is also abusive towards her. “Aww… Poor Miss Emily!” describes the situation which she is in that seems helpless. Moreover, adapting to changes is a challenge to her as she forgets about the people that care and love her. However, Faulkner shows another side of Emily who he depicts as a sociopath (Gale, 2016). She refuses to pay taxes in her town something which everybody in the town is doing. She did not want to accept the fact that her boyfriend was not ready to marry her. Miss Emily murders her boyfriend by poisoning him with rat poison and later on plays with his body until it starts decomposing. Also, she hides her dead father’s body together with that of her boyfriend. She then sleeps next to the skeleton of the corpse until she too dies.
Faulkner centers her focus around Emily and her different character which seems to be molded by the situations that she is undergoing. The mistreatment and abuse from her father, the refusal of her boyfriend to marry her, and the changing rules of the society makes her become a sociopath. Emily believes that she is not liable to paying taxes like the rest of the people in society as her father had rented them money (Gale, 2016). Her father death significantly affects her, and she refuses to bury him saying she does not want to lose him. For instance, the witch pleads with Emily to allow them to bury his father something which she refuses. However, she, later on, accepts her father to be buried even though she does not go to the funeral. Therefore, it can be seen that Faulkner focuses on the character of Emily to build the story.
The human character is molded by the environment in which they are nurtured. Therefore, different societies have diverse cultures and set of norms. For instance, it is the culture of most African communities to practice collectivism while it is the norm of the whites to practice individualism. However, if a white child is taken in an environment of the black community, then the child will grow up embracing collectivism and so is the case with an African child brought up in a white community environment (Gale, 2016). Also, the character traits depend on the situations which people undergo in the environment they are brought up. For instance, a child that is brought up in a home where the father is abusive will have the mentality that women should be abused. Therefore, if the child is a boy, he may end up turning to be a violent person in their adulthood. On the other hand, if the child is a girl, she may grow knowing that it is okay for men to abuse her.
However, there are situations and ordeals in life that a person undergoes that turn around their character for good. For instance, an extrovert person who experiences a tragic incidence such as rape may withdraw from society. They may also become bitter and their character trait change completely. Also, they may turn into sociopath whereby they will want to inflict harm to themselves and those around them (Gale, 2016). Also, a person that undergoes loss of a loved one may experience a change in character for they may refuse to accept their current situation. Therefore, they may end up acquiring characters that they did not exhibit before. However, a change in environment can assist in the two cases as people will get to interact with a new environment which will enable them to move on.
Also, a child brought up in a peaceful environment will grow up with inner peace while a child brought up in a country that is experiencing war may grow up thinking that the world is like that. Psychological theories argue that the environment in which a person is brought up plays a significant role in molding the character of that person. People are what they are conditioned to be through learning (Carter, 2017). If social influence were not there, then a human being would be no different from the rest of the animal species. Religion is another factor that shapes people’s character. For instance, there are practices in which some religion does not condone. Therefore, when a person changes their environment they may experience culture shock as what they do not allow is practiced freely by other religions.
To sum it up, the environment in which a person is brought up play a significant role in influencing a person character. Therefore, the people can be said to be the ones responsible for setting the bar in the way the society will behave. Peoples who go contrary to the social expectations are treated as weird. A person is not supposed to be different, and they are supposed to carry themselves in accordance with the way the society is set. The influence on a person’s behavior relates with the environment in which they are nurtured in and also the situations that they go through in their lives.
- Carter, I. (2017). Human behavior in the social environment: A social systems approach. Routledge.
- Van Wormer, K., & Besthorn, F. (2017). Human behavior and the social environment, macro level: Groups, communities, and organizations. Oxford University Press.
- Gale, C. L. (2016). A Study Guide for William Faulkner’s’ Rose for Emily’. Gale, Cengage Learning.