What are some examples of the theme of violence in "A Rose for Emily"?

Asked on by arianyso

1 Answer | Add Yours

afi80fl's profile pic

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

Posted on

The obvious first example lies in the fact that Emily eventually murders Homer, after attempting to court him unsuccessfully, as the readers infer from his actions that he is a homosexual.  She uses the rat poison she requests from the pharmacist in order to pull off the deed. 

However, a different example, and perhaps a more subtle one, lies in the verbal violence throughout the book.  When Emily and others would gather around to watch Homer "cuss the negroes", Homer is giving us an example of verbal violence.  He does not treat his workers with respect; rather, he uses them for their physical labor abilities, and cusses them when they begin to slack or tire. 

Finally, the townspeople are offended by the smell of what we later discover to be a rotting, decaying body emanating from Emily's house.  Rather than simply asking her to make her house smell better, they sneak over during the night and dump lyme around the basement to get rid of the stench.  This is an example of passive aggressive violence, another type that is common in many of Faulkner's works.

We’ve answered 319,810 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question