Class Struggles and the Psyche of Emily.
Deep within ourselves, lives the sub-conscious. Throughout our lives, our deepest, darkest desires push outward, determined to reach achievement. Like hot lava, obsessive urges seep out of us, inching closer to realization. Passion, the ultimate desire, can be ones greatest motivator and still be ones biggest isolator. Freud conceived that the wishes of the subconscious are repressed by the ego or consciousness (Coleman, p.352). The ego releases these urges through dreams, slip of tongue, and works of art (Sutherland, p.215). William Faulkner's work of art, A Rose for Emily describes the complex web of strife between people and their repressive connections despite different classes as the analysis of the main character, her lover, and her servant indicate. .
Emily, the main character, is a woman so strong that every other character's dysfunctionality stems partly from their involvement with her. She comes from an upper class family as her home and attitude assert; nevertheless, the struggle to stay in this class level is difficult as evident in her obsessive nature with class and her refusal and possible inability to pay taxes. Emily also has a family history of mental illness as obvious in the suicide of her great aunt. .
There is nothing said about Emily's mother which could suggest that her mother died or left, further adding to Emily's feelings of abandonment and loneliness. She is controlled by pride and loneliness. When her father died, severe psychological damage occurred in Emily's mind. For her, his death caused her sub-conscious to seek companionship and wished to grieve. Her consciousness reacted by using repression as a defense mechanism. This primal repression (Coleman, p.632) forbids wishes of the sub conscious to reach the consciousness. Ultimately, her want to feel sad was repressed by her refusal to accept her fathers death.