A Rose for Emily: Antebellum South vs. Modern South
William Faulkner wrote, "A Rose for Emily." In the gothic, short story he contrasted the lives of the people of a small Southern town during the late 1800's, and he compared their ability and inability to change with the time. The old or "Antebellum South" was represented by the characters Miss Emily, Colonel Sartoris, the Board of Aldermen, and the Negro servant. The new or "Modern South" was expressed through the words of the unnamed narrator, the new Board of Aldermen, Homer Barron, and the townspeople. In the shocking story, "A Rose for Emily," Faulkner used symbolism and a unique narrative perspective to describe Miss Emily's inner struggles to accept time and change The main character, Miss Emily, was born into a prominent Southern family, the Grierson's. The Grierson family represented the era of the Old South; and to the people of Jefferson, Mississippi, the family stood as a monument of the past. Miss Emily held on to the ways of this bygone era and would not change. Because of her inability to change, she was considered vulnerable to death and decay and, therefore, a "fallen monument" (71). Miss Emily had no intentions of changing her ways to please the people of her town. During her generation she "
had been a tradition, a duty, and a care; a sort of hereditary obligation upon the town
" (71). The new generation felt no hereditary obligations to her and her reputation in town was "dying and decaying.". Miss Emily's relationship with Homer Barron was also a conflict of the past and the present. Homer was described as, "A Yankee --- a big, dark, ready man, with a big voice and eyes lighter than his face" (74). Miss Emily, a Southern Aristocrat, represented the traditions of the past. Homer, a Northern construction worker, was part of the constantly changing present. In the summer after her father's death, they were seen by the townspeople "on Sunday afternoons driving in the...
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