The Fall of Emily Grierson: A Jungian Analysis of A Rose for Emily
AbstractThis paper discusses the tragic life of Faulkner’s Emily Grierson, a life dominated by patriarchy and traditional Southern social values, which concludes with her living as a lonely recluse in her family’s decaying aristocratic house for more than forty years until her death. The key of the tragedy is her father, who isolates Emily from the outside world and tortures her with traditional patriarchal rules and Southern family duty. Emily is expected to lead a life like other girls; however, under the burden of old-fashioned, patriarchal responsibilities, her inner world collapses. This study uses the Jungian concepts of archetypes, persona and shadow, anima and animus to interpret Emily’s transitions and her fall. By examining the process through the lens of Jungian theories, the aspects that affect her fall in the patriarchal, aristocratic society, as well as the inherited social values, can be revealed and specified.
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