The Interesting Life of Emily Grierson

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The Interesting Life of Emily Grierson
The short story “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner is about the life and times of an older woman named Emily Grierson who lived in the town of Jefferson. The story is set in the south during the early nineteen hundreds and narrated by an unknown person who lives in the town. The reader will about Emily’s mysterious life and the harsh times she has dealing with her family and social interactions as her life goes on. Faulkner uses different elements such as moral issues, setting, and conflict, to show that the only constant in society is change, and that people who refuse the change are subject to an unbalanced life.

The setting of this story is important because it plays a major factor in the way the reader will view Emily. In the south during the early nineteen hundred Faulkner described Emily’s house as, “A big, squarish frame house that had once been white, decorated with cupolas and spires and scrolled balconies in the heavily lightsome style of the seventies, set on what had been our most select street.” Then immediately states, “Only Miss Emily’s house was left, lifting its stubborn and coquettish decay above the cotton wagons and the gasoline pumps- an eye-sore among eyesores.” This shows how at one time the Griersons were among the wealthy and highly respected families in the Jefferson area. They had a nice big beautiful house in desired area. Now, the decaying house sticks out like a sore thumb in a crappy neighborhood- and Emily is still there. This is a symbol in how Emily sticks to her roots and won’t adapt to the new times.

The conflict between Emily and the Board of Alderman over paying taxes is another example of how she can deal with the new rules and regulation of the new modern society. Emily says, “I have no taxes in Jefferson. Colonel Sartoris explained it to me. Perhaps one of you can access to the city records and satisfy yourselves.” This clearly shows how distorted her view on society is....
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