Explain the forces that controlled and determined Emily Grierson’s life, even though she tried to have a life of her own.

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I don't believe there are any supernatural forces that control the way in which Miss Emily Grierson lived her life. Yes, her father may have manipulated her during her younger years, and she must have relied on him for both emotional and financial support. He may have discouraged her male suitors and prevented her from enjoying a normal social upbringing. After his death, he even seemed to have a hold on her, since Emily refused to relinquish his body for several days after his death. But his death should have been the key to unlocking Emily's independence. Instead, she continued her role as a social outcast; her own haughty behavior only intensified afterward. She chose to pursue Homer Barron, in part, because he was not a Jeffersonian: He knew little or nothing of her past, and when her strong pursuit and desire for marriage drove him away, she resorted to murder. Unstable, conceited and socially misfit she may have been, but like most humans, she had the ability to control her actions: She was not controlled by fate or other forces, but only by her own misplaced desires.

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A Rose for Emily

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