A Response Paper to a Rose for Emily

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Alex Broome
Mrs. Thompson
English 101 TR 11:00
08/29/2012
Essay 1

The Mystery Murder

“A Rose for Emily” is a short story written by William Faulkner. It takes place in Faulkner’s famous, fictitious town of Jefferson, Mississippi in post Civil War south. The story spans three decades and uses techniques such as foreshadowing and stream of consciousness to set the mysterious tone and to alter the mood and perception of the story.

The story’s main theme is resistance to change. Faulkner himself lived during this time and may be making a point about hanging on to the the past, not letting go and moving on. The main character, Emily Grierson shows what can happen to someone who doesn’t want to let go and move on.

The story begins with the entire town going to Miss Emily Grierson’s funeral, “men out of respect, and women out of curiosity” to see what was inside her house. From the beginning, Faulkner makes readers curious with this statement and draws us into the mystery.

From there, readers learn that no one had entered Emily’s house since she had stopped giving lessons in china painting. Her father, another main character, is told to have run off several men who were interested in Emily, thereby leaving her without a partner. When her father dies, all that is left to her is the house. Emily holds onto his body for three days before she finally breaks down and lets the townspeople bury him. Here, we first see the theme of not letting go and are interested that she would have kept his dead body for three days.

A lot of time passes, and Emily is sick for some time before anyone sees her again. In the meantime, the town begins to pave sidewalks and to grow around Emily. Soon a character named Homer from up North is introduced. Emily and Homer become acquainted and start spending a lot of time with one another. They take public rides every Sunday afternoon in their yellow-wheeled buggy. The people of the town are happy at first that she has...
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