What was Emily's relationship with her father?

4 Answers

ssellers's profile pic

ssellers | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

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There is a picture of her father where he is holding a whip which suggests, perhaps, that he was quite a stern man who dictated every facet of her life. She struggles to please him and hold on to everything he represents including the Old South.

sagetrieb's profile pic

sagetrieb | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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Emily's relationship with her father can be vividly seen in what the narrator describes as "the tableau" they had constructed of her: Miss Emily a slender figure in white in the background, her father a spraddled silhouette in the foreground, his back to her and clutching a horsewhip, the two of them framed by the back-flung door." We see in this "tableau" his violence and dominance, and her youthful femininity. He was controlling, refusing her a life of her own or a husband, and he cared little, for in this picture (as the townspeople imagine them) he has his back to her.  The image of the horsewhip is particularly disturbing, especially when we consider how violent she was in killing Homer to keep him. One suspects that her father might have, in a similar way, used that horsewhip on her to keep her.

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renelane | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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Emily was desperate to please her father, which is why so many suitors went by the wayside. He influenced her actions so much, that after he died she refused to let them take him right away.

Because she missed many chances to marry because of her father's influence, she seemed desperate to hang on to her last chance, Homer.