IB English III
4 September 2012
“A Rose for Emily”
In William Faulkner’s well-known short story, “A Rose for Emily”, the townspeople of a rural Mississippi town share their thoughts and views of the late 19th century upper class through tales of the lonely Miss Emily Grierson. Miss Emily is a fallen symbol of wealth and prestige who has become a recluse within her own home after the death of her father. Due to her peculiar ways, the citizens living in her hometown develop a curiosity regarding her life. Through the citizens, Faulkner shows Miss Emily cannot adhere to society’s expectations. A house reveals a person’s life without exactly knowing their past or background. To an extent, the appearance of a person’s house forms how neighbors view each other, especially someone as reluctant to visitors as Miss Emily. Because the townspeople do not know much about their inquisitive neighbor, they judge her based on her disheveled home. Describing it as “an eyesore among eyesores,” their disapproval of the Grierson estate “that had once been white, decorated with cupolas and spires and scrolled balconies in the heavily lightsome style of the seventies, set on what had once been our most select street” was a concern among the townspeople (Faulkner). Her neighbors viewed the house as a run down building that caused embarrassment to the town. Miss Emily’s lack of landscaping for her property made her an outcast among the townspeople. Other complaints were filed due to Miss Emily’s house reeking of a pungent smell. The town was so annoyed with the vile scent they decided to douse the outskirts of her home with lime. This showed the occupants of the town were disapproving of her lifestyle, like an American would be annoyed with the hygienic habits of a French citizen, whose culture differs from the United States. In society, there is a certain standard people must meet to be respected by others. One significant standard...
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