Themes Tradition versus Change Through the mysterious figure of Emily Grierson, Faulkner conveys the struggle that comes from trying to maintain tradition in the face of widespread, radical change.
Table of Contents Plot Overview The story is divided into five sections. Grierson had once lent the community a significant sum. As new town leaders take over, they make unsuccessful attempts to get Emily to resume payments. When members of the Board of Aldermen pay her a visit, in the dusty and antiquated parlor, Emily reasserts the fact that she is not required to pay taxes in Jefferson and that the officials should talk to Colonel Sartoris about the matter.
However, at that point he has been dead for almost a decade.
She asks her servant, Tobe, to show the men out. In section II, the narrator describes a time thirty years earlier when Emily resists another official inquiry on behalf of the town leaders, when the townspeople detect a powerful odor emanating from her property.
Her father has just died, and Emily has been abandoned by the man whom the townsfolk believed Emily was to marry. As complaints mount, Judge Stevens, the mayor at the time, decides to have lime sprinkled along the foundation of the Grierson home in the middle of the night.
Within a couple of weeks, the odor subsides, but the townspeople begin to pity the increasingly reclusive Emily, remembering how her great aunt had succumbed to insanity.
With no offer of marriage in sight, Emily is still single by the time she turns thirty. The day after Mr. Meeting them at the door, Emily states that her father is not dead, a charade that she keeps up for three days.
In section III, the narrator describes a long illness that Emily suffers after this incident. Homer soon becomes a popular figure in town and is seen taking Emily on buggy rides on Sunday afternoons, which scandalizes the town and increases the condescension and pity they have for Emily.
They feel that she is forgetting her family pride and becoming involved with a man beneath her station. She is required by law to reveal how she will use the arsenic. Her potential marriage to Homer seems increasingly unlikely, despite their continued Sunday ritual. The more outraged women of the town insist that the Baptist minister talk with Emily.
Holed up in the house, Emily grows plump and gray.
Despite the occasional lesson she gives in china painting, her door remains closed to outsiders. In what becomes an annual ritual, Emily refuses to acknowledge the tax bill.
She eventually closes up the top floor of the house. Except for the occasional glimpse of her in the window, nothing is heard from her until her death at age seventy-four.
Only the servant is seen going in and out of the house. In section V, the narrator describes what happens after Emily dies. After some time has passed, the door to a sealed upstairs room that had not been opened in forty years is broken down by the townspeople.A Rose for Emily Questions.
BACK; NEXT ; Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer. A Rose for Emily - Light and Dark Essay.
Light and Dark Throughout “A Rose for Emily,” William Faulkner brings out two different sides of peoples conception about Miss Emily - A Rose for Emily - Light and Dark Essay introduction.
In the story there is a light side and a dark side. “she has evidently shut up the top floor of the house. ”() The men of the town attend Miss Emily’s. Characters in A Rose for Emily and Barn Burning In "A Rose for Emily" and "Barn Burning," William Faulkner creates two characters worthy of comparison.
Emily Grierson, a recluse from Jefferson, Mississippi, is an important figure in the town, despite spending most of her life in seclusion. Emily’s body is laid out in the parlor, and the women, town elders, and two cousins attend the service.
After some time has passed, the door to a sealed upstairs room that had not been opened in forty years is broken down by the townspeople. The two short stories, “A Rose for Emily” and Sammy’s Abrupt Behavior at the: “A&P” both explore different kinds of plots building on how the two stories have been developed.
Plot is the series of events and how they unfold in a story to bring about a clear understanding of occurrences. Death hangs over “A Rose for Emily,” from the narrator’s mention of Emily’s death at the beginning of the story through the description of Emily’s death-haunted life to the foundering of tradition in the face of modern changes.
In every case, death prevails over every attempt to master it.