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A Rose for Emily William Faulkner's short story

William Faulkner's short story, "A Rose for Emily," was his first nationally published short story. The tale appeared in 1930, based on fears and rumors regarding an aristocratic woman who lived in his hometown, Oxford, Mississippi. The aristocratic Miss Mary Neilson married Captain Jack Hume, a Yankee foreman of a street-paving crew, over her family's protests. The couple had a happy marriage and lived to a ripe old age. According to John B. Cullen, one of Faulkner's neighbors, "A Rose for Emily" was created from the townspeoples' dire predictions of what could happen if Miss Neilson married the charming Yankee (Kirszner & Mandell 76-77). The purpose of this paper is to explore the details of setting, character, point of view, symbol, and theme in "A Rose for Emily."

The story is set in a small town in the American South in the post-Civil War years. Only in this milieu would the story be believable--the chivalrous protection of Miss Emily, the payment of her taxes by Colonel Sartoris, and the odd behavior tolerated in a small town to the point of the suspected murder of a lover. Colonel Sartoris invented a complicated tale to explain his payment of the taxes to the effect that Miss Emily's father had loaned money to the town, and this was how the officials preferred to repay. "Only a man of Colonel Sartoris' generation and thought could have invented it, and only a woman could have believed it" (77).

Only in a small southern town of this era could a woman vanquish the city authorities with flat repeated statements of denial, "I have no taxes in Jefferson . . . I have no taxes in Jefferson . . . See Colonel Sartoris . . . See Colonel Sartoris (Colonel Sartoris had been dead almost ten years)" (78). Only in a small southern town of that era could she have vanquished the authorities thirty years before when a suspicious odor arose about her house soon after her sweetheart disappeared. " . . . will you accuse a lady to ...

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A Rose for Emily William Faulkner's short story. (1969, December 31). In LotsofEssays.com. Retrieved 23:57, June 15, 2019, from https://www.lotsofessays.com/viewpaper/1705187.html