Explain the meaning of the quote below and how it connects to the shocking ending of "A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner.From "A Rose for Emily": "We believed she had to do that.  We remembered...

Explain the meaning of the quote below and how it connects to the shocking ending of "A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner.

From "A Rose for Emily": "We believed she had to do that.  We remembered all the young men her father had driven away, and we knew that with nothing left, she would have to cling to that which had robbed her, as people will."

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

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This statement is made by the narrator in "A Rose for Emily" in connection to Emily's reaction to her father's death. In the preceding passage, the narrator explains that when Emily's father died and the town's women went to call on her, she wasn't wearing mourning and didn't look sad and denied that he was dead. The narrator goes on to say that three days later Emily finally broke down in grief and that the town representatives rushed off with the body to bury it. The narrator follows this explanation with the quote in question:

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 that with nothing left, she would have to cling to that which had robbed her, as people will.

What the narrator is suggesting is that because Emily's father had been so sever with her and so unyielding to her desires and hopes, it was normal for her to cling to him since people react to oppressors with inexplicable devotion. The townspeople all knew what kind of overbearing and hostile father he had been and could understand Emily's extreme reaction to her father's death. As a result, they did not think she was crazy. The wording of this observation, "We did not say she was crazy then," implies another, later, occasion on which they did think she was crazy. This foreshadows--sets up the anticipation and mood of--the shocking ending that reveals that Emily must now be called crazy because the dead Homer, found in Emily's bedroom after hre own death, was a skeleton laying in her bed.

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