A Rose for Emily: Story About the Life and Death of Miss Emily Grierson

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A Rose for Emily
"A Rose for Emily," written by William Faulkner, is a short story about the life and death of Miss Emily Grierson. The structure of this work is broken down into five individual sections, which all come together to form a masterpiece. As the story begins, the unnamed narrator gives a detailed description of Miss Emily's funeral. It is stated that the whole town was present for the funeral. The narrator describes the motivation for the town's attendance: "the men through a sort of respectful affection for a fallen monument, the women mostly out of curiosity to see the inside of her house" (Faulkner 1). The curiosity created by the town was due to Miss Emily's life of privacy. No individual had seen the inside of her house, with the exception of Miss Emily's "Negro" servant, in the last ten years leading up to her death.

The first section of this short story additionally includes a description of the history behind the town's relations to Miss Emily. The narrator comments: "Miss Emily had been a tradition, a duty, and a care; a sort of hereditary obligation upon the town" (1). This obligation began in the year 1894 when Miss Emily's father died; he left her nothing but the house. That year the town's mayor told Miss Emily she was exempt from all taxes because the town owed her father. Miss Emily accepted his exemption and the tradition began. As this section comes to an end, a new mayor tries to get Miss Emily to start paying taxes, but she refuses.

The second section of "A Rose for Emily" describes Miss Emily's life shortly after her father's death. This section displays Miss Emily as a woman in deep denial. She actually tried to hide her father's dead body, but the wretched smell eventually drove the town to intervene: "Just as they were about to resort to law and force, she broke down, and they buried her father quickly" (3). The narrator ends this section by saying, "We did not say she was crazy then. We believed she had to do...
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