In "A Rose for Emily," how has Emily's father treated men who wanted to date her in the past?

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jjohnson112 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In "A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner, Emily's father, Mr. Grierson, is only mentioned briefly at the start of the story. The narrator informs us that the Griersons are an aristocratic family.  Emily's mother is dead, and Emily is separated from the town and social contact by her father. Mr. Grierson chases off any male who wants to court Emily because he doesn't believe any of them are "good enough." 

None of the young men were quite good enough for Miss Emily and such. We had long thought of them as a tableau, Miss Emily a slender figure in white in the background, her father a spraddled silhouette in the foreground, his back to her and clutching a horsewhip, the two of them framed by the back-flung front door.

The story doesn't specifically state how the men were treated who wanted to court Emily. The reader has to infer what probably happened, based on the tableau painted by the author. In the image, the reader sees Emily's father "clutching" a horsewhip.  By reading between the lines, the image suggests the father chased them off, aggressively protecting his daughter.

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A Rose for Emily

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