It is impossible to kill without creating the conditions for your own murder. What, specifically, does this mean in "A Rose for Emily"?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

This is a partial quote from Dr. Judith Fetterley.  Her theory deals with the roles of men and women as they are presented in "A Rose for Emily".  She believes that Miss Emily was 'killed' by being forced by the men of society to act as a stereotypical 'lady'.  She is not considered to be smart or logical, and no one dares confront or question her because she is a lady.  Fetterley's theory is that Emily takes this position as a lady and uses it to gain advantage over the men in this male dominated society.  She lives the way she wants, doesn't pay taxes, 'courts' Homer openly, and eventually commits murder and worse without ever being questioned or stopped.  

Homer Baron was a man who 'killed' Miss Emily by being a dominant male who never followed through with their relationship in an honorable way.  By 'killing' Emily, he provided the motive for his own murder - he had hurt and dishonored her.  Miss Emily, although stereotypically considered weak, was a strong woman who got what she wanted.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team