Rose for Emily

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Climbing the Social Stairs of A Rose for Emily
In A Rose for Emily, William Faulkner uses characters to portray different socio-economic level in the town of Jefferson. Mr. Grierson, Emily’s father is part of Jefferson’s upper-class until he loses it all. Another character that holds onto part of the socio-economic chain is Judge Stevens, the mayor of the town. Tobe, “The Negro,” is treated like a slave even though he is free. Society looks down upon African Americans because they are considered to be at the bottom of the socio-economic chain. Another lower-class character is Homer Barron. He is a northern laborer who likes to spend his time in bars. Meanwhile, Emily who is considered of upper-class even though her family currently did not have any money still believes in the old southern tradition noblesse oblige. In the time frame in which the story takes place old southern traditions greatly impact everyone in the upper-class life. Even their spiritual values are closely tied with their southern way of living.

“The Negro,” walks the street unnoticed as mentioned by the narrator due to him being of lower class people do not call him by his name. African Americans receive so little respect in the south that Colonel Sartoris said “no Negro woman should appear on the streets without an apron” referring to black women as only useful in the kitchen. That is most likely the reason Tobe, the man servant in Emily’s house, never told anyone of the crime that Emily had committed. Who would believe someone who was barely considered to be part of society?

Another lower-class character is Homer Barron. Homer is very well liked by the people of Jefferson, but because he is part of the lower-class people would still gossip about him. Homer is a poor man; who a rich woman has fallen in love with and clearly that was not socially acceptable. When the older neighbors found out they began to criticize because people from different social classes are not meant to wed. It...
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