What are, in your opinion, the pros and cons of living in a tight-knit family or community like the ones in "A Rose for Emily"?William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily"

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mrs-campbell eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The pros are that you will, as long as the family or community ar around, have a really great support group.  You have someone to comfort you, teach you, provide for you, be your friend, socialize with, have fun with, and help out in times of illness or trial.  For example, if people know that you need help, in a close-knit setting, people will show up and pull you through a tough time.  For example, after Emily's father died, the ladies came and helped her with the arrangements and funeral.  If they hadn't shown up, who knows what might have happened.  However, the con is that such a tight-knit group might keep you from branching out and making friends or connections in unconventional but rewarding places.  And, when that family or that community disappears, as Emily's dad did, then you are left with nothing, no connections, and totally alone.  So, there are pros and cons to that situation, for sure.

Another con of a tight-knit community, that we see in "A Rose for Emily" is that people tend to gossip, share news, and make everyone's business a public affair.  The townspeople in the story analyzed and followed Emily's every move, gossiping, forming judgments, and putting pressure on her to behave in certain ways.  This form of voyeurism isn't healthy, and keeps people from being true friends with others.  It spreads rumors that hurt lives.  Jealousy and envy take root.  In close-knit communities, that often happens, and the gossip is often a key role.

I hope that those thoughts helped; good luck!


mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily," there are two powerful influences upon Emily:  the patriarchal family in which she is part, and the social status that she has as having come from one of the old families of prestige.  Because of the dominance of her father, Emily's life would be restrictive no matter where she might live--city or small community. Her social station, also restricts her with its "noblesse oblige" as the narrators mention.  That is, as the daughter of an influential man in the town, Emily is expected to only socialize with certain people, and she is carefully guarded by her father.  When he dies, she is still restricted because the members of her small community watch her.  So, even after her father's death, Emily--because of her social status--falls yet under his influence.  When she goes out with the northern man, thetownspeople look askance at her, for she has crossed the invisible bounds of her social class.  And, it is this social class to which Emily is bound, not the size of the community.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Having lived in both big cities and small towns, I think I can speak to this point.

The pros are mainly the sense of belonging that one gets in a tight-knit community.  When you are always liable to see people that you know when you are at the store or in the park, you feel more of a sense that you belong in this place.  When you know the parents of all your classmates and you know who is related to who, etc, you get that same sense of belonging.

However, with that sense of belonging comes a bit of claustrophobia.  In a small town, if you, as a teenager, do something wrong, someone is likely to see and they are likely to tell your parents.  If someone gets mad at you, their cousins and aunts and uncles are likely to as well.  Everyone knows your business and is not shy about getting involved.

bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Although many people might find the examples below in a negative light, a close-knit family and small town life can be very rewarding. The love that is displayed by family members toward one another is a positive aspect that continues for a lifetime. Members come to each other's aid when necessary, and loneliness is rarely a problem in close families. Small towns work in much the same way. Everyone knows their neighbors and helps one another when the need arises. Sadly, Miss Emily never saw the advantage of becoming friends with her neighbors, and without family support, she became a reclusive loner.

thewanderlust878 | Student

In my opinion, I don't see a whole lot of pros to a tight knit family like that. Perhaps it is from growing up in a family directly opposite of the one in the story. Anyway, the only pro I would see would be that being that close to your family could provide you with support when you need it. But that is a double-edged sword because if you need money support, then you will be in their debt. If they need money support from you, you run the risk of them never paying you back.