A Rose for Emily: Appealing Story

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“A Rose for Emily” is an appealing story not only because of its complex chronology, but also because of its unique narrative point of view. Most people think that the narrator, who uses “we” as though speaking for the entire town, to be young, impressionable, and male; however, after re-reading the story several times, you realize that the narrator is not young and is never identified as being either male or female. The character of the narrator is better understood by examining the tone of the lines spoken by this “we” person, who changes his/her mind about Miss Emily at certain points in the story. In general, the narrator is sympathetic to Miss Emily, never condemning her actions. The narrator admires her ability to use her aristocratic demeanor in order to overcome the members of the city council or to buy poison. The narrator also admires the fact that Miss Emily could be cold hearted at times. The narrator seems impressed by the way that Miss Emily could just get away with common matters like paying taxes or by how she does not associate herself with lower-class people. And yet, for a lover she chooses Homer Barron, a man of the lowest class. What’s worse than Homer’s social status is the fact that he is a Yankee. Ironically, the narrator likes Miss Emily’s high-and-mighty attitude as she distances herself from the vulgar world, even while committing one of the ultimate acts of desperation, necrophilia, with a low-life Yankee. With Homer in the scene, the narrator, now obviously representing the town’s views, is glad that Miss Emily has a love interest. However, this feeling quickly turns to fury at the very idea of a Northerner thinking to be an equal of Miss Emily, a Southern, aristocratic lady. The narrator feels that Miss Emily should be courteous and kind to Homer, but she should not become sexually active with him in any way. Once the town finds out that Miss Emily is sleeping with Homer, the narrator’s attitude about her and Homer’s affair changes...
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