Light and Dark Throughout “A Rose for Emily,” William Faulkner brings out two different sides of peoples conception about Miss Emily. In the story there is a light side and a dark side. “she has evidently shut up the top floor of the house. ”(795) The men of the town attend Miss Emily’s funeral for public reasons, but the women attend just “to see the inside of her house. ”(787) The inside of her house was never seen making it dark and mysterious, but when she passed everyone let the light into her house as they gazed upon it wondering what was inside.
The setting of the story influences our views of Miss Emily in such ways that are almost unexplainable because of the mysteriousness in the beginning of the story and how she went about her life after her father’s death. When her father dies, she would not let the town take the body from her until three days past. They took away her only family and her only connection to the outside world. The emotional connection between her father dying ached in her heart and she was seen very little after this.
The town’s people just wondered why this was and why the Negro, that went to the market every day, would not say anything about the wellness of Miss Emily. Her lifestyle was very mysterious after this incident. While she was with Homer Barron, she would be seen outside of the house getting supplies and driving in his buggy. A year after they had begun to say “Poor Emily”, and while the two female cousins were visiting her”(792) she had asked for some rat poison. The druggist gives her the poison and the town says that “she will kill herself. (793) But she was seen getting wedding cloths, a ring for Homer, and even a silver toilet seat. Then the town says “they are married” (794) So they were not surprised that Homer was gone. The last was seen of Homer going into the house after dark one evening. When Miss Emily dies, “the negro met the first of the ladies at the front door and let them in. ”(795) After the funeral for Miss Emily, the women were curious to see the room that no one had seem in forty years.
They violently broke down the door to a room filled with rose lights and curtains giving a feeling of love in the room. All the cloths and jewelry and wedding gifts were lying out as if Emily and Homer had just gotten married. “the man himself lay in the bed” (796) The man decaying and rotting every day as he lay signifies the intensity of love that Miss Emily had for Homer. And as she knew he was going to dump her she kills him just to be with him for the rest of her life.
Now to her this seems okay, but to the townspeople they just think it is so wrong and cannot believe that she slept next to the body while baring the smell and fleshless body. The townspeople took her only family away after three days that she would not let them in. Emily must have felt very strong about Homer because she made an emotional connection to him, even if he was decaying right next to her. After the town took her father she was alone and shut out, her heart ached then and did not want that to happen again when Homer dumped her.
In her eyes, she just did not want to be alone for the rest of her life. Lightness and darkness can be very mysterious in the views of others. They are almost equivalent to “The Conceptions of Public and Private in “A Rose for Emily”” (Crystal) The story does an excellent job of showing the darkness in her life, and then letting the light in and let the people see how she was living. The only difference is that the public view or the light is not shown until the darkness or private view is buried in the ground. And sometimes the darkness is not meant to be seen by the public.