William Faulkner is recognized as one of the foremost American of the 20th century. Faulkner’s work spans a wide array of novels and short stories that have assumed a seminal place in the canon of classical literature. One of his most prominent works is the short story ‘A Rose for Emily’. This story follows the life of a reclusive old woman who ultimately poisons a man, Homer Barron, and keeps his corpse in her upstairs bedroom. While the story gives limited facts about Homer Barron, this essay examines what can be inferred about him from the information supplied.
The text offers some descriptive information about Homer Barron that contributes to the reader’s understanding. Faulkner describes Barron as, “a Yankee a big, dark, ready man, with a big voice and eyes lighter than his face” and notes that “The little boys would follow in groups to hear him cuss the riggers” (Faulkner). In this way Faulkner characterizes Barron as exuding a sort of masculinity that is unique for the southern town. While this would seemingly place him at odds with the town, it’s clear he is a very likeable person, as Faulkner indicates that soon he is friends with everyone in town.
Further considerations about Homer Barron indicate that he is the sort person that others would trust. In this way he not only becomes popular in town, but also becomes associated with laughter and joviality; Homer is also referred to as smoking cigars and drinking. It’s clear that most people would feel comfortable and happy about being in his company. His relationship with Emily Grierson is also significant, as Emily is a well-established member of the community; his connection with her then further enhances his reliability and trustworthiness. Still, the story indicates that Homer Barron was of a lower class than Emily. Faulkner writes, “the ladies all said, ‘Of course a Grierson would not think seriously of a Northerner, a day laborer’” (Faulkner). In this way it’s clear that some members of the community may dislike Homer Barron because of his low social class. Additionally, Homer indicates that he is not a marrying man. In this way it seems that he is a slight womanizer and slightly transient. These things may cause some people to distrust Homer. Finally, one considers that Homer’s disappearance did not cause a tremendous uproar. In this way it seems that he may not have a significant family structure that would have looked for him.
In conclusion, this essay has examined Homer Barron from Faulkner’s ‘A Rose for Emily’. The essay demonstrates that while a limited amount of information is given about Homer, a number of things can be inferred about his character. In this way it seems that Homer is a likeably, if slightly unique character for the specific town. Additionally he is depicted as being of a lower social class than Emily, as well as a womanizer. Ultimately, this supplementary information provides a number of strong insights into Homer’s potential character.
Faulkner, William. “A Rose for Emily.” xroads. N.p., 2011. Web. 1 Oct 2012.