How does Overprotective parents related to "A Rose for Emily?"I am doing a research essay and this is my topic, can anyone help me?

9 Answers | Add Yours

e-martin's profile pic

e-martin | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

We might argue that Emily's character is entirely shaped as a response to an over-protective parent. 

Her father prevents her from dating anyone because he doesn’t believe any of the men in Jefferson are good enough for her, and after his death, Emily continues to isolate herself from the rest of the community for the better part of her life.


Kept from being normal because of a father too concerned with honor, pride and chivalry, Emily develops into someone who turns out to be quite abnormal. She is very alone, not a part of the community, and her distance is evidenced almost everywhere in the story. 

auntlori's profile pic

Lori Steinbach | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Miss Emily is a mess.  Her father no doubt believed he was doing the right thing by placing such restrictions and expectations on his daughter; instead, though, he created a monster.  We know next to nothing about her except within the context of her father and his influence on her.  Overprotective is probably the kindest thing we can say about him.

lmetcalf's profile pic

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

Posted on

The story gives an interesting description of their relationship.  The narrator says "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 forground, his back to her and clutching a horsewhip..."  Just the elements of this image reinforce what has been said in previous posts -- Emily is white, innocent and almost invisible in the picture of her father who dominates the picture, even suggesting some brutality with the whip. 

hadley818's profile pic

hadley818 | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted on

Emily lived in the shadow of her father all of her life. Her father disapproved of every possible suitor and basically controlled her. She shared her father's outdated beliefs about aristocracy and heredity, and it was these beliefs that made Emily feel as if she was above the law. She was obsessed with her father...so obsessed that she didn't want to part with his body.

mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Whenever there is a parent who becomes too involved in the life of his/her child, Freudian questions arise.  At any rate, there is certainly the suggestions of an emotional incest, if nothing else, between Emily and her father, who dictates her life into adulthood, assuming a role that would be normally that of an oppressive husband.  One wonders if she slept beside her father's corpse, too, before the authorities were able to talk her into relinquishing it.

Obviously, the domination of Emily's father has certainly distorted Emily's growth as a person.  She remains a virtual recluse and seems adrift after he dies.

teachertaylor's profile pic

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

Posted on

To further this, after Emily's father dies, she unconsciously tries to find a replacement for her father.  She has become so accustomed to her father's brooding nature that she cannot function without it.  She needs Homer (or someone!) to care for her and this is the only time when she shows any enthusiasm about life.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I agree.  If it had not been for the way her father treated her, Emily might have had boyfriends and eventually married.  But because her dad was like this, she had not boyfriends until she was old and desperate.  That made her act like she did with Homer.

ask996's profile pic

ask996 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted on

Overprotective parent is more precise. Emily’s overprotective father had a huge part in the story. He chased off all of Emily’s suitors, and he made her so dependent on him that she cold not function without him.

We’ve answered 318,988 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question