In "A Rose for Emily," what are the similarities between Richard Cory and Emily Grierson?

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ms-mcgregor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Both Richard Cory and Emily Grierson were thought of as part of a higher social class than most. They both seem to be the subject of much gossip around their towns, Yet both of them were misunderstood and lonely. Richard Cory was seen as having been "admirably schooled in every grace". Everyone thought he was happy and wished they were in his place. But no one really seems to understand the real Richard Cory. Although he said "good morning" and "glittered when he walked", nothing else he said or did is recorded. People knew only the outward facade of the man so they were shocked at his suicide. Similarly, Emily is thought of as respectable and is such a high social position that no one ever really approaches her. However, everyone watches her, as they watched Richard Cory and she seems to be the focus of much town gossip. Unfortunately, no one really knows Emily and after he father dies, the only human contact she seems to have is with Toby. Even he deserts her as soon as she dies. Thus, the town is just as shocked as Cory's town,to see what Emily did to cope with her loneliness.