A Rose for Emily by Faulkner is a conventional Freudian explanation of incest and necrophilia. The incestuous relation between Emily and her father had indelible impact on the future life of Emily.
Her father’s motive to indulge her in assumed incestuous relationship is considered a protective tool. In order to protect Emily’s inviolability from future potential suitors, he must turn against her, unaware of the consequences on the psychological and emotional life of Emily.
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Freud asserted that sexual repression causes psychological abnormality. Emily's overprotective and domineering father deprives her of a normal liaison with the opposite sex by chasing away any probable mates. So denial of a normal relationship and incestuous relationship with her father makes her an introvert and outcast for society.
She takes refuge in solitude. Since her relation with father was so intimate, her aberration at the death of her father is a natural phenomenon. She refutes his death and keeps his dead body.
Later in the story, she wants to develop a normal mundane life, when she allowed the children to come in to her house for painting and herself extended her relation with Homer. But again social actors remain a hindrance in her way. Certainly, the storyteller proposes that Homer himself may not exactly be enthusiastic about marrying Emily.
Finally, Emily’s poisoning Homer can be taken as necrophilic act as she waited for the body to decompose before endorsing her oedipal fantasy.
The discovery of a strand of her hair on the pillow next to the rotting corpse suggests that she slept with the cadaver or, even worse, had sex with it. In the fantasy of necrophilism, she might have played the imagined coitus with her father.
Emily's repressive life therefore adds to her psychological abnormality: necrophilia. Even if she commits a hideous crime, Faulkner portrays Emily as a victim of her circumstance.
Faulkner, William; contributing editor, Noel Polk. A rose for Emily. The Harcourt Brace casebook series in literature. Fort Worth: Harcourt College Publishers, 2000.
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