Comparison Essay: A Rose for Emily

A comparison essay involves comparing at least two (or more) items. Before you write a comparison essay, make sure you know the basis for comparison and develop a list of similarities and differences. Just like any other essay, a comparison essay should have a thesis statement. Therefore, develop a thesis statement based on the similarities and differences.

Comparison essay between two items
Comparison essay

The following comparison essay on “Isolation vs. Community” was written by one of our expert writers. The essay examines the setting, the actions of the protagonists and the community’s revision on the views of the protagonists. Read it to get a better understanding about how to approach such essays. You can also read Lords of Misrule Review because you never know when the inspiration will hit you.

Comparison Essay:Isolation versus Community

The story, “A Rose for Emily,” by William Faulkner and the film, “Psycho” directed by Alfred Hitchcock addresses the issue of isolation versus community by use of the setting, the protagonists’ actions and the community’s views on the actions of the protagonist. Faulkner uses Emily as the protagonist to address the theme of isolation while Hitchcock uses Norman Bates and Marion. This essay compares the theme of isolation versus community in the film and the story by examining the setting, the actions of the protagonists and the community’s revision on the views of the protagonists.

Both Miss Emily and Norman Bates live an isolated life. Miss Emily lives in a lonely house surrounded with a wall. Bates lives in a house that is almost 15 miles away from the town. The isolation from the community influences their lifestyles. In section four of the story, “A Rose for Emily”, Faulkner writes, “From that time on her front door remained closed, save for a period of six or seven years, when she was about forty, during which she gave lessons in china-painting.” (Faulkner 4.5). This happens after Emily orders an arsenic from a town shop. The shopkeeper walks around telling people that Emily has ordered an arsenic, which is an unusual. Considering that she lives alone, people fear that she may kill herself. Similarly, in the film, “Psycho.” Norman Bates lives an isolated life after killing his mother because of jealous. Furthermore, Marion lives an isolated life. Marion says, “I haven’t even been married once yet.” (Psycho). Marion says this while responding to Sam’s statement that she speaks like someone who has been married. Apparently, the protagonists in Faulkner’s story and Hitchcock’s film live an isolated life.

The protagonists’ parents and demanding and they are very close to them. Later on, both Miss Emily and Norman Bates lose their parents and are unable to cope with the change in life. In the case for Emily, she does not burry her father. Even after the townspeople detected a bad odor around Emily’s compound, she dismisses them. Faulkner writes, “So [Miss Emily] vanquished them, horse and foot, just as she had vanquished their fathers thirty years before about the smell.” (Faulkner 2.1). The townspeople suspect that something is wrong in Emily’s house but Emily does not allow any one nearby. When they come to spray lime around the compound to suppress the odor, Emily chases them unceremoniously. Similarly, in the film “Psycho” Norman Bates and Marion have demanding parents. Norman kills her mother out of jealousy and later becomes unable to cope with it. He, therefore, goes ahead to exhume the corpse and relives the memory. For Marion, after her mother’s death, she keeps her picture nearby in the sitting room to relive the memory. Marion says, For instance, in an effort to convince Sam to come to her house, she says, “…We can even have dinner, but respectably. In my house, with my mother’s picture on the mantel, and my sister helping me broil a big steak for three.” (Psycho). The statement, “with my mothers’ picture on the mantel”, shows she is unable to cope with her mother’s death.

In conclusion, the story Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily” and Hitchcock’s “Psycho” effectively address the theme of isolation versus the community. In the story and the film, the protagonists live an isolated life away from the community. This makes the community to view them as sociopaths. After knowing them, however, the community changes their view towards the characters.

Works Cited

Faulkner, William, and Saxe Commins. A Rose for Emily and Other Stories. New York: Random House, 1942. Internet resource.

Psycho (Motion picture: 1960)–trailer? Psycho policy. Dir. Alfred Hitchcock . Psycho 1960. N.p., n.d. Web. <>.

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