Conflict in "A Rose for Emily"

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The short story, “A Rose for Emily” written by William Faulkner, takes place in a small town in the South by the name of Jefferson. The story begins at the funeral of the main character of the story, Miss Emily Grierson, and later continues with the past. The death of her father has had a strong impact on her life. Eventually she found hope when Homer Barron, a Yankee, comes into her life. The protagonist Emily, who is symbolic of the past, is in conflict with the present.
Miss Emily was an only child to her father, who died and left her a house with no money. Before the death of her father, the Colonel Sartoris remitted her taxes. The “next generation,” (Faulkner 730), of mayors and aldermen made a decision that Miss Emily should also pay property taxes as everyone else. Miss Emily felt otherwise; they tried reaching out to Miss Emily but she was so stubborn that she did not reply. After no reply a deputation gave Miss Emily a visit to her home. After the death of her father, Miss Emily begins to isolate herself from the town and does not leave her home. Miss Emily has not had company for ten years until the Board of Aldermen pays her a visit. Her house begins to decay and give off a strong odor that “smelled of dust and disuse—a close, dank smell” (731). The judge received several complaints about the massive odor coming from Miss Emily’s home. So of course he decided to do something about it. The judge sent four men on mission to eliminate the smell. The story says “they broke open the cellar door and sprinkled lime there, and in all the outbuildings” (732). Everyone began to worry about Miss Emily wondering if she needs aid, but doctors on the other hand wanted to discard her father’s body. After she broke down she agreed to ...

... middle of paper ... she have company except for her manservant who has been there with her through everything. Miss Emily let her past conflict with her present by keeping the body of her deceased father in a room in her home. By her keeping the deceased body it causes a major over that began to leak into the city. The odor was so bad the people of the town had to creep to try and get the smell way. The smell also has had a great impact on Miss Emily’s health. The massive smell has Miss Emily ill several times as she sits and breathe in the odor. The conflict of the past and the present has overtime caused the death upon herself by not being able to get out and fee her mind she was stuck in the house with a horrible smell.

Works Cited

Faulkner, William. “A Rose for Emily.” The Norton Introduction to Literature. 11th ed. Ed. Kelly J Mays. New York: Norton, 2013. 730-736. Print
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