A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner
SETTING: In a town called Jefferson in Mississippi and mainly in her house CHARACTERS: Miss Emily Grierson, Homer Barron, The Mayor and Miss Emily’s dad PLOT:
a. Her dad dies.
b. They thought he left town.
c. Then they found him dead.
a. Tradition vs. Change
b. Struggle between past and present
POINT OF VIEW: "A Rose for Emily" is a successful story not only because of its intricately complex chronology, but also because of its unique narrative point of view. In general, the narrator is sympathetic to Miss Emily, never condemning her actions. Sometimes unabashedly and sometimes grudgingly, the narrator 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. And yet, for a lover she chooses Homer Barron, a man of the lowest class, and more troubling than his social status is the fact that he is a Yankee. Ironically, the narrator admires Miss Emily's high-and-mighty bearing as she distances herself from the gross, vulgar, and teeming world, even while committing one of the ultimate acts of desperation — necrophilia — with a low-life Yankee. DESCRIPTION OF THE AUTHOR: William Faulkner (1897-1962), who came from an old southern family, grew up in Oxford, Mississippi. He joined the Canadian, and later the British, Royal Air Force during the First World War, studied for a while at the University of Mississippi, and temporarily worked for a New York bookstore and a New Orleans newspaper. Except for some trips to Europe and Asia, and a few brief stays in Hollywood as a scriptwriter, he worked on his novels and short stories on a farm in Oxford. In an attempt to create a saga of his own, Faulkner has invented a host of characters typical of the historical growth and subsequent decadence of the...
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