Comparison & Questions: “A Rose for Emily” and “A Good Man is Hard to Find”

Convention of Grotesque The convention type that fits and encapsulates the readings “A Rose for Emily” and “A Good Man is Hard to Find” is “The Grotesque”. The plot of “A Rose for Emily” is so disheartening and even pathetic that it degenerated to the grotesque particularly the character of Emily who kept the cadaver of Homer as a husband for years. The convention of grotesque may not be as pronounced in “A Good Man is Hard to Find” but still, the incidence of finding the band of misfits of which the grandmother foreboded borders to the grotesque for they were not only hailed but was also killed.

The convention of the grotesque of murder took over the story of Emily when she was overpowered by her obsessive love for Homer that she had to kill Homer just to have him. Even if Homer did not propose marriage to her, she acted as if she is going to marry Homer that she even announced and prepared for it which is already bizarre. The story took a more grotesque turn when Homer entered her house after a long absence with the story implying that he is going to end his relationship with her. From then on, Homer did not come out because he was killed and Emily become recluse that she never came out of her house for forty years! And all along with those forty years, she acted as the wife of Homer in a grotesque and sickening way. This was discovered when she died that her top floor had to be dismantled so that people could enter only to discover that Homer “the body had apparently once lain in the attitude of an embrace, but now the long sleep that outlasts love, that conquers even the grimace of love, had cuckolded him” (Miller 5). All those time Emily took care of Homer’s cadaver as if he was alive and even slept with him. This is a supreme case of a grotesque because Emily’s case bordered on necrophilia or having sex with the dead (she slept with him).

What is more chilling in the case of Emily was that she really prepared to kill Homer if he will deprive her of marriage. This is grotesque because she had the plan of killing the man that she loves. It is a grotesque idea to kill out of love and this is not an act of an ordinary person but rather of people who have a mental issue. The evidence that Emily was bent to kill Homer was evident in the line “I want arsenic. . . But the law requires you to tell what you are going to use it for.” “ Miss Emily just stared at him” (Miller 3-4). Emily’s case is worse because she did not only intend to hide her crime but also Homer except that she will be with him.

Faulkner’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find” may not be as grotesque as Miller’s “A Rose for Emily” but still, his story took a grotesque turn. What would be the probability of a skeptical grandmother warning everybody that a convict named Misfit has just escaped prison only to be hailed by them later? Worst, they were all killed with the grandmother being shot despite her pleadings. She even tried to placate the killer by appealing to his human side by saying “I know you’re a good man. You don’t look a bit like you have common blood. I know you must come from nice people!” (p. 7). But instead of responding as a human being, the Misfit had a grotesque response of “Nome, I ain’t a good man” (O’Conner 4) and later shot her chest three times and died.
The stories of Miller’s “A Rose for Emily” and “A Good Man is Hard to Find” shared the convention of the grotesque because of the gruesome nature of their stories. The character of Emily in Miller’s “A Rose for Emily” embodied the grotesque because the idea of murder did not make her flinch but was even bent on doing it. What is chilling in the story is that the person she intends to kill is the person he loves. The grotesque did not end there because she also intended to hide her crime but not to get away with it but to be able to become his wife even if he is dead. In the case of “A Good Man is Hard to Find” the grotesque lied in the idea of making the grandmother’s foreboding come true. She was hassling everyone during their trip about the convict Misfit who escaped only that they are going to hail him to be with them. What is gruesome in the story is that the grandmother along with her entire family was shot by the very criminal she was worried about. Both stories involved death with Emily sleeping with the dead and the grandmother who warned against the convict misfit being shot by the convict himself which is the essence of the grotesque.

 

Works Cited
Miller, Arthur. “A Rose for Emily”.
Faulkner, Flannery. “A Good Man is Hard to Find”.

You Might Also Like