Can you help me with a thesis statement for a character analysis of "A Rose for Emily"?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Here are some ideas:

Like Miss Havisham of "Great Expectations," Miss Emily Grierson has made the decayed house on a once "select street" her prison in which she, too, spends a life sentence.  And, like Miss Havisham, she "knows nothing of the days of the week or the months of the year," losing touch with the outside world. Finally, she dies in this decayed house, along with her rotting lover.

So, could you make a case of Miss Emily becoming a prisoner to the mores of the Old South as she refuses to acknowledge a new world around her?  I believe you could.  Use the idea of prison in your thesis;  three points that you could support in this thesis are how she buries herself in time through physical appearance, her treatment of others, and her desperate attempt keep her world intact within her home/prison by capturing Homer.  

Look at the physical description in the 6th paragraph and see her as symbolic of the death of a former age.  See how she locks herself away from the rest of the town, refusing admittance to the ladies, closing the "old Negro" into her world rather than allowing him to be a free man, etc. Like so many inmates who are in solitary confinement, she loses touch wilh reality until she, finally, creates one of her own (with Homer).

Emily Grierson is a captivating character--you can enjoy this assignment.

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A Rose for Emily

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