A Rose for Emily: a Story Takes Place in a City of Jefferson

Topics: William Faulkner, English-language films, Short story Pages: 2 (590 words) Published: February 12, 2013
"A Rose for Emily" is a short story by American author William Faulkner first published in the April 30, 1930 issue of Forum. The story takes place in a city of Jefferson.
The main character is Emily Grierson. Emily lives in a timeless vacuum and world of her own making. For most of the story, Emily is seen only from a distance, by people who watch her through the windows or who glimpse her in her doorway. No one knows Emily that exists beyond what they can see, and her true self is visible to them only after she dies and her secrets are revealed. Consider the opening sentence of the story and the reasons given for the townspeople's attending Miss Emily's funeral: ". . . the men through a sort of respectful affection for a fallen monument." The narrator is sympathetic to Miss Emily, he admires her ability to use her aristocratic bearing in order to vanquish the members of the city council or to buy poison. The narrator also admires her aristocratic aloofness, especially in her disdain of such common matters as paying taxes or associating with lower-class people. Moving from admiring Miss Emily as a monument, the narrator also pities her, when she refuses to bury her father immediately after he dies: "We remembered all the young men her father had driven away" Also, the narrator delights the fact that, at age 30, Miss Emily is still single. After Miss Emily's father's death, the narrator's feelings are evident: "At last we could pity Miss Emily." The townspeople seem glad to her new economic status, she becomes "humanized." Emily’s house, like Emily herself, is a monument, the only remaining emblem of a dying world of aristocracy. The outside of the large, square frame house is lavishly decorated. The house is in some ways an extension of Emily: it bares its “stubborn and coquettish decay” to the town’s residents. It is a testament to the endurance and preservation of tradition but now seems out of place among the cotton wagons and gasoline pumps. Emily’s house...
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