“A Rose for Emily” narrates the story of a strange spinster, named Emily Grierson. An unidentified narrator tells the bizarre circumstances of Emily’s life and her strange relationships with her father, who controlled and manipulated her. After the death of Emily’s father, he met Homer Barron, a Yankee road worker. Hungry for love and attention, Homer becomes her lover whom she dearly loved. Emily thinks that her world will be filled with days of wine and roses because of Homer. But sooner than she expected, Homer Barron threatens to leave her. She is seen buying arsenic, which the townsfolk believe she will use to poison herself with. Subsequent to this, Homer Barron is not heard from again, assumed to have returned north. Although she does not commit suicide, the townspeople of Jefferson continue to gossip about her and her unconventional behavior, quoting her family’s history of psychological illness. Emily is heard from less and less, and hardly ever leaves her home.
Having been on the verge of taking her own life using what was left with the arsenic, she attempts to commit suicide. Luckily, the servant who has been with them since Emily was young stops her from drinking the poison. “Emily, please listen to me, you do not have to this, I love you so dearly – – I have watched you grow and blossomed to a beautiful lady – but I am nobody, a no one. Please do not say a word. I know for a fact that you will definitely despise me, but that’s the truth. You do not have to love me in return; my love for you is more than enough to embrace both of us. Just let me love you; let me be your servant for eternity. I will not expect anything in return. My happiness is to be of service to you, merely seeing your face is far beyond all the exquisite things in this world…. please…I beg you Emily, just let me love you.”
Days, months, years had passed, at the age of seventy-four Emily died. Still, unbeknownst to the townspeople until her demise, concealed in her upstairs room is the cadaver of Homer Barron. Emily makes sure that he would for ever and a day be with her, whether he is alive or not. On her funeral, the body of Emily lies on a bed of roses, with the scent of roses lingering the entire house. Beside her is the an old man-servant — a combined gardener and cook – – who worships and adores Emily more than his own life is dwelling in his misery due to the death of his one-true love. While holding her hands, a dried red rose is pressed between their palms. Caught up in his own reverie, the servant vividly remembers the day when young Emily picked up a red rose and excitedly gives it to him. The servant recalls a famous quote, “The hours I spend with you I look upon as sort of a perfumed garden, a dim twilight, and a fountain singing to it. You and you alone make me feel that I am alive. Other men it is said have seen angels, but I have seen thee and thou art enough.”
Although it is known to Emily that the servant loves her so much, when she poisons Homer, her heart dies with him. Even though fully unrecognized and unreciprocated, in her death – – Emily finds eternal love which is something no one could ever take away from her – – which in fact has been there even before she learns what love really means. The servant has given all to love, when he obeyed his heart. For loving Emily is like breathing, now he can stop.
“A Rose for Emily.” 22 June 2007 ;http://www.ariyam.com/docs/lit/wf_rose.html;.