A Rose For EmilyI am doing a research paper on A Rose for Emily. I am writing about how Emily is crazy and esentric. I am in need of some good quotes from the story that represents that she is...

A Rose For Emily

I am doing a research paper on A Rose for Emily. I am writing about how Emily is crazy and esentric. I am in need of some good quotes from the story that represents that she is indeed crazy. Any suggestions?

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ask996's profile pic

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

Posted on

Mental instability is certain indicated with regard to the death of Emily's father. She would not let anyone in to take control of the body for days. Perhaps refusing to relinquish the only man she'd been able to have a relationship with. Then when she reappears after so much time, she has shorn her hair, and resembles a youthful boy. This clearly indicates mental instability.

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

Posted on

Also, quite arguably Ms. Emily had a family history of mental illness.  For example in section two, the narrator refers to a great aunt who went "completley crazy".  This is subtle, but I do think that it implies that Ms. Emily had a history of mental illness in her family which may explain her own mental illness.

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amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

She buys rat poison.  Homer disappears and she is buying gentleman's toiletry sets with engraved initials on them.  We can assume that he is already poisoned by this time, and only a crazy woman would behave in such a way.

Also, who in her right mind would spend years sleeping next to a corpse?  UGH.

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mrs-campbell | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

There are numerous examples of her eccentricity.  After repeated letters and attempted contacts about her taxes, she does a couple eccentric things.  The first is to write a note in return, "to the effect that she no longer went out at all.  The tax notice was also enclosed, without comment."  So, she said that she no longer went outside of her house, and completely ignore the issues of the taxes.  Very strange, almost like she is in a totally different world and not realizing even what these people are asking of her.  Later, when they visit her house, "she did not ask them to sit," then denies having any taxes to pay.  They insist, she turns a deaf ear, and has Tobe show them out.  Her eccentricity shows in her lack of social manners, and her being oblivious to how the world works, throwing respected men out of her house with no thought of the consequences.  After her father died, ladies came to pay their respects and "Miss Emily met them at the door, dressed as usual and with no trace of grief on her face.  She told them that her father was not dead.  She did that for three days" before letting them take his body away.  That is definitely eccentric, and highly disturbed, to say the least.  She later enforces her eccentricity by being seen with Homer, as mentioned above, and then, at the end, we realize truly how crazy she was, when they discover his corpse with her hair next to it, indicating that she had slept next to his body for years.

I hope that those quotes help, and good luck!

afi80fl's profile pic

afi80fl | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

Posted on

Well, a couple of points in the story come to mind.  You might want to look at the section where she is described as having a crayon drawing of her father above her mantle, showing that she has the mindset of a child.  Also, doesn't she wear a watch chain that is missing a watch?  These are a couple of descriptions of her that you could probably for which you could probably find quotes. 

Also, she is in love with a man who is more or less openly homosexual.  Most women, even in this time and place, would readily recognize the signs of one who is homosexual, but Emily is oblivious to them.  Instead, she is embarrased when he shows little to no interest in her advances, and treats her just as a friend.  You could find some quotes, especially where it talks about how he liked to drink with the young men at the Elks Club, to support this facet of her eccentric behavior.

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