"A Rose for Emily" is a short story divided into five sections: Section one opens with a description of the Grierson home and its setting in Jefferson. The narrator mentions that over the past 25 years Miss Emily’s home has fallen into despair and become "an eyesore among eyesores." The first sentence of the story sets the tone of how the citizens of Jefferson felt about Emily: "When Miss Emily Grierson died, our whole town went to the funeral: 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, which no one save an old manservant–a combined gardener and cook–had seen in at least ten years.” The narrator also discusses the last time that Emily Grierson had guests in her home. After her father’s death, Colonel Sartoris had arranged so Miss Emily would never have to pay taxes. However, when a new council took over, they began to tax her once again. She never paid the taxes and refused to appear before the sheriff so the city authorities took it upon themselves to go to her home. When confronted on her tax evasion, Miss Emily reminded them that she paid no taxes in Jefferson and if there were further problems to speak to Colonel Sartoris, who had died ten years before.
Section two reveals to us that the Grierson family is a very proud Southern family, which has had its fair share of unusual characters. The audience learns that Mr. Grierson, Emily’s father, being a proud man, never believed any was good enough for his daughter and would chase them away. When he died, Emily would not allow the authorities to remove his dead body for three days, claiming that he is still alive . This section also mentions that two years after her father’s ...
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...evealed throughout the story. This writing style was not common during Faulkner's time.
Southern Aristocracy is a major theme in many of Faulkner's stories, including "A Rose for Emily." Many of the same characters from the upper class appear in several of Faulkner's works.
Death and Necrophilia
The two elements in this story that make it Gothic Fiction are death and necrophilia. Although death is almost a given in any gothic work, necrophilia, the sexual attraction to corpses, is the outstanding grotesque element in this short story.
This short story exhibits many factors of the Southern Gothic style. For example, the helpless damsel in distress (Emily) meets her white knight (Homer) and instead of being rescued, actually condemns her own fate. Homer exhibits some signs of racial bigotry, a common trait of the Southern Gothic.
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