Themes

Madness

One of the main themes illustrated in the short story “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner is the theme of madness. Emily Grierson comes from a family where mental illness is hereditary, as illustrated by the case of her aunt: “but years ago her father had fallen out with them over the estate of old lady Wyatt, the crazy woman…”. Several hints suggest that Emily might suffer from the same mental illness, even though the townspeople dismiss the idea and attribute Emily’s strange behavior to grief: “We did not say she was crazy then. We believed she had to do that. We remembered all the young men her father had driven away, and we knew…”

The end of the story, however, suggests that Emily might have been mentally ill. The narrative implies that Emily killed Home...

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