The short story "A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner focuses on the alienated Miss Emily Grierson who lived in the South during the late 19th century. The lonely and impoverished woman is unable to cope with death and decay, until her own death occurs. Death seems to loom throughout the whole story, as Emily refuses to accept change and struggles to be in control of the people around her. By not accepting death of her loved ones and choosing to ignore it, Emily is unable to grip the idea of death and suffers from the consequences such as denial and isolation from her town. .
Miss Emily grew up secluded from the rest of society, and only communicated with her father, and "an old man-servant – a combined gardener and cook" (Faulkner 1). Her father was overprotective and would drive away any possible suitors whom came around. He believed that none of the men were good enough for his daughter. People in the town believed that the "Griersons held themselves a little too high for what they really were" and that none of the men "were quite good enough for Miss Emily and such" (Faulkner 2). By being sheltered away from men, she was secluded away from the reality in her own town and unaware of how to cope with the loss of loved ones. After her father's death she barely left her house. Emily is seen confusing the past and present when her father dies and refuses to accept change. "Miss Emily met them at the door, dressed as usual and with no trace of grief on her face. She told them that her father was not dead" (Faulkner 2). She tried to defy death by holding onto his corpse for three days until they almost resorted to law enforcement. This demonstrates Miss Emily's feeling of wanting to have control now over her formerly controlling father. She wanted to possess the reigning power that her father once held over her. Her father kept her isolated and sheltered within the home that Miss Emily finally was able to keep him under her control.