Miss Emily Grierson’s Psychopathy in William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily”: Overt Disorder, Covert Order

Mourad Romdhani


Despite Faulkner’s claim that it is not a psychological text, “A Rose for Emily” investigates female psyche, introducing an old unwed woman who denies her father’s death and keeps his corpse in her bedroom for days, then kills her lover, Homer Barron, and spends forty years lying next to his corpse. It does not require a particularly intensive reading to reveal Miss Emily’s psychological disorder. Similar to the townspeople in the story who are obsessed with Emily’s life of silence and introversion, the reader is left wondering about the female character’s unpredictable behavior. That is the reason why one cannot avoid thinking about Miss Emily’s psychological disorder and her division into silent conflicting selves.

This paper probes Miss Emily’s psychological disorder from a psychoanalytical perspective and attempts to show that, deeply scrutinized, the lady’s psychopathic traits and her overwhelming silence do contain symptoms of meaning and order.


female Psyche, silence, disorder, order, psychoanalysis.

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