Psychological Disorder in The Character of Miss Emily



 Psychological Disorder in The Character of Miss Emily

Anwar, Maria. “Psychoanalytic Reading of Faulkner’s “A Rose For Emily”. 2020, p. 4. Academia.Edu, Accessed 6 Nov 2020.

Maria Anwar is a lecturer of English at Fatima Jinnah Women University. She is also a Ph.D. scholar. In this article, she has written about the psychoanalytic aspect of “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner. According to her the psychoanalytic theory of personality and behavior of Freud is very much visible in this short story. The elements of psychoanalytic theory id, ego superego can be found in the text. Emily’s Id is the most dominant part of her character. She has a tendency to maintain her superficial impression in the society under the dominance of her superego. When she is in love with Homer, the ego has negotiated with Id to fulfill her sexual desires. Between he rejected the proposal of marriage, she killed Homer under the influence of Ego and Id. In this article, the writer also refers to the Lacanian psychoanalytic theory to analyze the development of madness in Emily’s personality. I have chosen this article because this article is not only talking about the psychoanalytic aspects of the text but also elaborating and showing examples which is good for a better understanding of a reader.

Aras, Goksen. “Personality and individual differences: Literature in psychology-psychology in literature.” Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences 185 (2015): 250-257.

Goksen Aras is a famous psychologist and sociologist. He has written many famous articles related to human’s attitude and personality and development under the influence of psychosocial theory. In this article, Aras has written talked about how literature and Psychology are related and how it can be used by the author to represent the individual’s conflicts, desires, social concerns, ideologies, and perceptions. He has provided any literary examples in which psychology has been used to portray the personality of the character. According to the article, the death of Emily’s father, social changes, and loneliness has turned her into a lunatic and later she has developed a psychological madness or schizophrenic personality in herself. I have chosen this article because this article is showing clearly that literature and psychology are related in respect of various perspectives. Literature presents the fundamentals of ideas for a better understanding of human nature why is psychology also represents the feelings emotions and notions of human personality. Despite this elaborated research, the article does not talk much about the character. It should be expanded more for better understanding to the readers.



Sri Ulina Lubis is from the department of English of Universitas Negeri Malang. Her thesis on “The Development of Schizophrenia On The Main Character Of “A Rose For Emily” was so much appreciated for her elaborated research. This disease has analyzed the development of schizophrenia in the personality of Emily. She has approached theories of psychoanalysis in order to analyze the character of Emily. This research has revealed the symptoms of schizophrenia that Miss Emily has suffered in the earlier stage are social withdrawal, lack of inside, delusion, and in the final stage, her symptoms consist of avolition and alogia. She also has employed a defense mechanism in order to overcome her anxiety because of schizophrenia. Although there is not so much research has done on the topic I have chosen, this article has elaborately compared the symptoms of schizophrenia with the personality of Miss Emily.


Mehmood, Asad, et al. “TRANSITIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN FAULKNER’S EMILY.” European Journal of Research and Reflection in Arts and Humanities Vol 2.2 (2014).

Asad Mehmood is from the University of Sargodha, Pakistan. He has written so many articles in European Journal of Research and Reflection in Arts and Humanities. This research explores the mysterious portrayal of psychologically abnormal Miss Emily. This article says that the character of Emily is mysterious as well as weak because there is a sign of expropriation of independence in her life because of her father’s protective nature. Despite this, when he died Emily’s psychological disorders started to develop. Throughout the research, their main focus was on Lacanian psychosexual development and imaginary order with the personality of Emily. It says that Emily is necrophiliac because of her unbalanced behavior. This article describes that the story also represents Emily as a social rebel. It also used the psychoanalysis of Freud to analyze the character of Emily Grierson. It says from childhood Emily was associated with her father only. Homa Barron is the only person with whom Emily has been intimate except her father. At first, she was obsessed with her father, and then after his death, she has become obsessed with her lover. But when he rejects the proposal of marriage, her Id submerged her ego. She killed her lover and remains obsessed with his corpses for years after his death. I have chosen this article because this elaborated on the stages of Emily’s life and the development of the psychological changes throughout her life.

Romdhani, Mourad. “Miss Emily Grierson’s Psychopathy in William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily”: Overt Disorder, Covert Order.” International Journal of Humanities and Cultural Studies (IJHCS)​ ISSN 2356-5926 3.2 (2016): 1513-1524.

Mourad Romdhani is from the University of Sfax, Tunisia. She has written many articles in the International Journal of Humanities and Cultural Studies. Her journal on “Female Silence in William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury, As I Lay Dying and “A Rose for Emily is one of her famous writing. In this article, she has written about the psychological development of the character Miss Emily. This article talks about the psychological factors related to the character’s life and her eerie behavior. This article also refers to a Freudian psychoanalytic theory like Maria Anwar in order to portray the psychological disorder of Miss Emily. It has revealed Miss Emily’s perversion and secrecy in her behavior by using Freud’s “anal-retentive personality” which means if a parent force or impose their authority on a child he or she might react consciously by holding back in rebellion. In the case of Miss Emily, her father’s too much protective nature has contributed to Emily’s psychological disorder. Furthermore, there is a high relevance of repression in Emily’s personality. She has suffered from sexual repression because of her father’s preventive nature. This article also exhibits that Id is Emily’s most powerful psyche. She has refused to resist her desires towards patriarchy and refused to bury her father and her lover’s corpse. I have chosen this article because of its elaborated research on the character of Emily. There are not so many articles on the topic of my research but this article has exhibited a lot of psychological theories by analyzing the character of Miss Emily’s personality and the development of the psychological disorders in her character in each stage of her life.