Musings, Nits, and Praises: A Rose for Hillary

Musings, Nits, and Praises

A farrago of all things deemed blog-worthy by a music-loving, poetry-writing, humor-seeking English teacher

A Rose for Hillary

The day after his death [her father] all the ladies prepared to call at the house and offer condolence and aid, as is our custom.  Miss Emily met them at the door, dressed as usual and with no trace of grief on her face.  She told them that her father was not dead.  She did that for three days, with the ministers calling on her, and the doctors, trying to persuade her to let them dispose of the body . . .
In William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily," the reclusive Emily Grierson, the last of the once wealthy and prominent Grierson family of Jefferson, obstinately, and eventually downright insanely, refuses to accept change as time and the Reconstruction inexorably erode her standing in the community, leaving her at the time of her death little more than a "fallen monument" in the eyes of the townspeople.  
The narrator, an anonymous townsperson who speaks on behalf of the entire community, offers glimpses of Emily's steadfast denial of reality throughout the story.  When her father dies, she insists for three days he isn't dead; when a new generation of town leaders insist that she pay taxes, she refuses, telling them to speak with Colonel Sartoris, who had remitted her taxes forever.  Sartoris did indeed remit her taxes, but he had been dead for ten years.  But it isn't until the end of the story that the narrator reveals the maniacal extent of Emily's clinging to her past.  
When the townspeople come to her house for her funeral, they discover Emily's horrifying secret.  Wanting to preserve the joy of her wedding day and fearful of losing another man in her life, she poisoned Homer Barron, leaving his corpse dressed in wedding attire on their bed for over thirty years, the room and everything in it untouched, a frightening, dust-ridden tableau. 
Of course, Hillary Clinton isn't that crazy.  In fact, she's not really crazy at all.  But she is a sore loser, unable to accept not only that she has lost the Democratic party's presidential primary, but also that the Clintons are no longer the face of the party.  As Chuck Todd noted following the RBC's ruling on Saturday, the Democratic party now belongs to Barack Obama.  HRC knows that, too.  But the question is how long her clutching to her delusion will last.  
The Democratic party, the media, and anyone else who can recognize obvious defeat is coming for the dead body of her candidacy.  Hopefully she gives it up to be buried sooner than later because last night the stench became unbearable.

2 Responses to “A Rose for Hillary”

  1. # Blogger Steve

    Thanks for the literary allusion and connecting it to the present. Holding on to the past often gets to be more of a problem as one gets older and things change in a different direction from what one desires.  

  2. # Blogger Jason

    So true, Steve. One thing that I enjoy about the story is that although Faulkner hinges the plot on Emily's insane attempts to prevent change, the theme resonates universally.

    I think one distinction I should've drawn between HRC and the Faulkner story is that Emily does nothing to earn the status she attains by being a Grierson. Conversely, although HRC has unquestionably benefited from being a former First Lady, she nonetheless invested an enormous amount of time and effort into her campaign, making it all the harder to acknowledge defeat. With her official backing of Obama this Saturday, though, it's clear she can, in fact, come to terms with the end of her campaign. For now at least.  

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