What factors shape Emily Grierson's personality in "A Rose for Emily"?

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ms-mcgregor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Miss Emily's personality is first shaped by her domineering father. He refuses to allow her to marry and then when he dies, leaves her with very little money.

Her personality is also shaped by the traditional Southern society in which she lived. Her family had been very prominent and so she was expected to keep up certain appearances, even though she had few resources at her disposal. In addition, she was not supposed to mix socially with people of a lower social class. This left her with no friends and few social contacts. When her aunts came to visit,they simply offered the old traditional views that she needed to marry.

Unfortunately, the only white man she had contact with was probably gay. Thus, she was forced into an untenable situation. She had no money, no real friends, no social contacts and no man to marry. It is no wonder that she decided to take matters into her own hand. Despite the fact that her choices are very bizarre, they probably seemed sensible to Emily.

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A Rose for Emily

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