Help w/ Cause and Effect Paper on "A Rose for Emily"I have to write a cause and effect paper on "A Rose for Emily." I need three topics to write about. Any suggestions?

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bmadnick's profile pic

bmadnick | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted on

I usually assign a specific topic to my students with this kind of essay. You don't say if you have a specific topic, such as writing about the causes and effects of Emily's loneliness. In this case, you might say: One cause of Emily's loneliness is the fact that her father isolated her from everyone when she was a child. The effect would be that she never developed friendships or had suitors. A second cause of loneliness might be that the town idolized her, putting her on a pedestal, resulting in Emily shutting herself off from everyone. A third cause could be Emily's isolation from the town and the family she had left, causing her to become desperate to keep Homer Barron at any cost.

If you haven't been given a specific topic, you could take specific events to show a cause-and-effect relationship. Examples might be: (1) Her father thinks no one is good enough for Emily, so he allows no suitors; (2) Emily goes out in public with Homer, leading to her cousins coming to visit; (3) Homer leaves town and Emily buys arsenic; (4) Emily's loneliness leads to her desperation to kill Homer; (5) The change in Southern society causes Emily to withdraw into herself.

I hope this helps and gives you ideas of what you can do. Review the plot, themes, and characters, and I'm sure you can come up with some of your own.

pmiranda2857's profile pic

pmiranda2857 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Your cause and effect relationship is the outcome of the Civil War, the cause, and, the effect, Miss Emily's sad, isolated life of loneliness. 

A cause and effect relationship in "A Rose for Emily" is found in her relationship to the Civil War, both personally and how it effects her environment.  The South goes through such a dramatic rebirth after the war both culturally and physically.

‘‘A Rose for Emily,’’ in a few pages, covers approximately three-quarters of a century. The birth of Emily Grierson takes place sometime around the Civil War. Her death takes place sometime in the late 1920s or early 1930s—"

Miss Emily's father was a classic Southern gentleman and he raised his daughter in a time of great turmoil.  Emily's life was directly effected by the Civil War.

I'm sure her father did not think that the South was going to lose. He probably believed that Miss Emily could find a  proper southern gentleman to marry after the war.  Emily lost her chance at happiness when the south lost the war. 

Miss Emily, it apears got caught in a transition moment in time when she did not fit in any longer.  She was a product of the past, the old south, and had no ability to transform herself into a member of the new south.  Therefore, because of the outcome of the Civil War, Miss Emily's chance at happiness was lost in the fog of war. 

kwoo1213's profile pic

kwoo1213 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted on

A really good topic for a cause and effect essay involves the theme of isolation in this story.  My students do an essay on this in my literature course each fall and spring.  Being by focusing on what CAUSED Miss Emily's isolation (for example, early on in her life, it was her father who isolated Emily from the rest of the world and who refused her suitors).  Then, focus on the EFFECTS that this isolation had on her later on in her life (for example, inability to let go, resistance to change in her life, depression, mental illness, etc.).  This should get you started.

coachmom22's profile pic

coachmom22 | Middle School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

I wrote a paper on this in college...one suggestion...try looking at the way Emily is outcast by her community and the ways that the way she is treated affects her mindset.
One of the effects of her loving community is found when her lover is discovered dead in their bed.  Another suggestion:  Why does Emily feel this great need to have a lover at all?  How does this man fulfill her desire to be accepted in her community and why does she even desire their acceptance? How does her father contribute to her needs?  Why does she need this acceptance?  Hope this helps.  I loved this story, it has many dimensions.

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