Describe each main character of "A Rose for Emily" by giving their strengths and weaknesses.

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sullymonster eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Before I answer your question, be aware that enotes editors are limited in the length of our response. The goal in the q and a section is to provide brief answers to some of the questions most troubling readers.

There are many minor characters to these story that make up the town, such as the mayors and Homer Barron and the druggist.  These characters are mostly undeveloped.  Faulkner was trying to create a microcosm of small town life to form the atmosphere for the development of his protagonist Emily.

Emily has strength in her Southern pride.  She is scared of her father, but she worships him as well, denying his death when it does happen and refusing (out of pride) to allow the townspeople to attend to her.  She has strength in her beliefs, and some would say, madness.  Her weakness, however, is the fear of being alone.  A fear that appears to drive her to murder.

For the other, shallower characters, here is a quick list of strengths and weaknesses:

- Colonel Sartoris:  pride in his town is a strength, bias and prejudice a weakness

- The Judge: respect for his townspeople is both a strength and a weakness, as it lends to helping them but prevents useful communication

- Narrator: a "character" that appears to speak for the town itself has the same strength and weakness as the two characters listed above.  Respect for others, but an overabundance of reserve that leads to a lack of useful communication.