In the short story A Rose For Emily and the short story Killings people have been murdered and the motivations for the killings are understandable but never the less still murders. The reason for murder in A Rose For Emily is not as clearly shown as with Killings , that story is a classic eye for an eye type story. The main character in A Rose for Emily (Emily) and the main character in Killings (Matt) both kill out of love, but the types of love seem to be different.
Emily was not what you would call the average murderer. She was strange however, after her own death (which is known to reader in the very first line of the story) the townspeople described her as a tradition, a duty, and a care; a sort of hereditary obligation upon the town (73). When her father died she would not let them take the body for three days, now that s pretty strange. The people in town at the time didn t think she was crazy, they explained her actions like this, We remembered all the young men her father had driven away, and we knew that with nothing left, she would have to cling to that which had robbed her, as people will. (75) Here is the first indicator that her motives for killing her only love Homer Baron are founded on an emotional type of basis. Her father believed that no one was ever good enough for his daughter, and because she never got close to anyone she didn t know how to let go either, she never experienced that kind of love you get when you meet that special someone. Her unwillingness to be alone and unloved again becomes evident when in part IV of the story it looks as though Emily and Homer are to be married. She has bought him personally monogrammed gifts, the people in town believe that they will be married and then all of a sudden it seems that maybe they are not going get married. He leaves town for a bit and this probably made Emily go crazy. She finally meets the only love of her life and he is not being serious with her, so what does she do the next time she sees him? She poisons the guy and keeps his rotting corpse in her house, and to make it worse she even sleeps with him. She didn t know how to deal with rejection so instead she does the only thing she can to keep the love she believes is Homer and that is kill him so she could have him forever, or so she thought.
In the other story, Matt is the father of Tony, a young man in love with a woman stuck in the middle of an ugly breakup with her husband. The ex-husband (Strout) is not very happy with young Tony. So in the classic jealous style, Strout kills Tony because he thinks Tony is the reason that he and his wife are not getting back together. Well Matt being the good father that he is not going to let this go. He feels a great injustice has occurred, the courts have let his son s killer out on bail meanwhile his son is dead and buried. Matt is extremely angry, he says, He walks the Goddamn streets, he being Strout (82). His wife can not even go out shopping without seeing her son s killer walking about.
The amount of anger and pain must have been crippling for Matt and his wife Ruth. While taking the law into his own hands, Matt is trying to avenge his son s death the best way he knows how. The planning and premeditation of Strout s murder would consume Matt until it was complete. Once it was finished Matt appears to be feeling bad; he can t even tell the story to Ruth without stumbling in his words. He felt remorse; he shuddered with a sob that he kept silent in his heart. (93). Matt was only human, no matter how much he hated Strout, he still had to deal with the fact that he took another man s life in cold blood.
The biggest difference in the two stories is the differences of emotion. The two killings are founded in love but different kinds. Emily acted out of a selfish love, a love she had never been able to know and was unprepared to live without, even if it meant killing to keep it. Matt was just plain revenge, vigilante justice for the death of his beloved son. Perhaps Matt s reasons were nobler but nonetheless they still killed people. The society we live in is not always fair, but that doesn t mean we can go around and do as we see fit, disregarding the laws and rules of the land. Love is definitely a powerful emotion as we can see from the two stories; it is the driving force behind many things even murder as Emily and Matt found out.