What effect does Emily's father have on her life in "A Rose for Emily?"

Expert Answers
e-martin eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Miss Emily is cloistered in her house, having been "protected" by her father when he was alive and kept safe in the house. Emily's father is depicted in a photo as standing in front of Emily and this dominating, protective position signifies a permanent status for Emily. She is kept away from the potential for dishonor and kept away from a normal life. 

While he is living, Emily's father keeps potential suitors away from Emily. He protects her, effectively, by making sure she remains alone.

After her father dies, Emily continues to "cling to that which robbed her" and maintains her protected, cloistered state. 

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.

The desire for honor above companionship and for appearance above reality is implied in the behavior of Emily and her father. They each attempt to maintain an appearance of pride and integrity even while they exist in a state of dissolution, decay, and death. 

Read the study guide:
A Rose for Emily

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question