How do the characters in "A Rose for Emily" and "Paul's Case" compare and contrast in terms of: 1)misfits 2) social acceptance 3) Loneliness & death? How are Emily and Paul both misfits? What...

How do the characters in "A Rose for Emily" and "Paul's Case" compare and contrast in terms of: 1)misfits 2) social acceptance 3) Loneliness & death?

How are Emily and Paul both misfits? What examples illustate this? Why are both concerned about social acceptance and what others think about them?

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gbeatty | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Well, in both cases, the main characters are misfits in some way. In both cases, art and love are their two roads through which they seek social acceptance. In both cases, they end up dead. You have a good general structure of similarities.

However, you also have marked differences. Emily is warped by a lifetime of control and indulgence; her oddity is supported by an entire town. Paul's, by contrast, seems more innate in his character, and, of course, younger.

Likewise, the town fails to act to correct Emily, but the school does act on Paul. (It forces him further away, but it does act.

How they die differs markedly: age vs. his own hand.

As far as loneliness, that may be the most marked difference. Paul's entire soul breaks with the loneliness. Emily's…warps. She sleeps with a corpse, after all.

Sources:
ntntuyet's profile pic

ntntuyet | College Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

For Emily, nothingness and emptiness bring her long-lasting misery. The death of her father makes her disappointed in life. However, it frees her from dependence.

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