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At the end of Part II of Faulkner's Gothic masterpiece, after her father's death, when the ladies of town call upon her in order to offer their condolences, Miss Emily Grierson informs them "that her father was not dead." She repeats this for four days until the authorities come for his body and bury Mr. Grierson. The narrator's remark poignantly,
We remembered all the young men her father had driven away, and we knew that with nothing left, she would have to cling to that which had robbed her, as people will.
This key passage points significantly to the tragic character of Miss Emily. Having had all the suitors of her youth driven away by her father, she clings to him, even in death. Moreover, as the story progresses, it becomes apparent that Emily makes death itself her suitor. For, she refuses to allow Homer Barron, whom she has chosen in her middle-aged desperation, to depart from her life. Her purchase of arsenic forestalls his departure and, having purchased his wedding present of a silver man's engraved grooming set, men's clothing and a nightshirt, Emily becomes "wedded" to Homer in his death.
With the presence of death throught the story, the writer could compose a thesis which focuses upon the gothic aspect of death in its grotesque form in "A Rose for Emily." For, Emily is haunted by death, clinging despite herself to death and, finally, loving death.
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