Characters are the people that an author creates in a story, novel or writing. We determine the characterization of those individuals through their physical description, the characters words, actions and thoughts, and what the narrator or other characters may say about them. For this paper we will use the following short stories: "A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner, "The Jilting of Granny Weatherall" by Katherine Ann Porter and "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been" by Joyce Carol Oates and discuss the characterization of three women found in those works.
In "A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner, the main character is Emily Grierson a product of a by gone era, who surrounds herself with reminders of the past. Ms. Emily had become "a tradition, a duty and a care: a sort of hereditary obligation upon the town" of Jefferson and was considered upon her death to be a "fallen monument." In her early years it seemed that she and her family "held themselves a little too high for what they really were" and it seemed that "None of the young men were quite good enough for Miss Emily." Even though the last years of her life were not kind to her, (her father died and left her only the house), the townsfolk seem to obey a sort of hierarchy within which Emily was placed and commanded a sort of respect. Through these characteristics in the end she was a legend in Jefferson.
The protagonist in the "Jilting of Granny Weatherall" by Katherine Ann Porter is an eighty year old mother in the last days of her life. Granny Weatherall is the type of women we all should have had as a mother. Left at the altar by George, sixty years to the day, we find out that she made a go of it on her own terms and in spite of being jilted. Granny Weatherall had been through a difficult life, full of hardships that shaped her into a strong, fiercely independent woman. Her children are her happiest memories: "Granny wished the old days were back again and the young children and everything to done over.