Adolph Meyers, in Anderson’s “Hands,” is a gentle, introverted, inspirational schoolmaster, whose expressive hands are his only means of effective communication. Meyers uses his eloquent hands as a medium of expression “to carry a dream into the young minds” (Anderson, 4) of the boys in his charge. When these physical contacts are misinterpreted by the townspeople, Meyers is falsely accused of inappropriate fondling, savagely beaten and driven out of town. Although Meyers does “not understand what had happened he felt that the hands must be to blame” (Anderson, 5). Leading a reclusive life on a farm under a false identity, Meyers resolves the problem of his psychological trauma by exerting a rigid control over his “nervous little hands” (Anderson, 1). He keeps his hands hidden in his pockets or behind his back, closes them into fists and bangs them on hard surfaces. This is his way of suppressing the activity of his hands. In this context, the title “Hands” is very appropriate for the story.
Emily Grierson, in Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily,” is portrayed as a woman of great strength of character. The obstinate determination to always have her way is the characteristic trait in Emily’s personality. She does not take ‘no’ for an answer from anyone. Her yearning to find love, and a family, blind her eyes to Homer Barron’s true personality, which is evident to the town at large: he “was not a marrying man” (Faulkner, IV). As the evidence mounts that Homer is not interested in making her his wife, Emily continues to live in denial over the state of their courtship. She orders a silver toilet set and clothing for Homer and somehow contrives to lure Homer home. Emily resolves her problem with her fiancée by poisoning him with arsenic and keeping his corpse in her bedroom. She refuses to let Homer go, and is ready to kill him to keep him with her. Her pride does not let her become the jilted lover – “Poor Emily!” (Faulkner, IV) – to the townspeople. It goes without saying that her fiancée does not enjoy this resolution of Ms. Emily’s problem!
Anderson, Sherwood. “Hands.” Title of Collection. Ed. Editors Name(s). City of Publication:
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Faulkner, William. “A Rose for Emily.” Title of Collection. Ed. Editors Name(s). City of
Publication: Publisher, Year. Page range of entry. Medium of Publication