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A Faded Rose

In William FaulknerÆs A Rose for Emily, we are treated to a depiction of Miss Emily Grierson, dead at the beginning of the tale. From the narratorÆs perspective who seems to be one of the townÆs southerners in the story, ôas is our customö, the story of Miss Emily unfolds (Faulkner 5). The former glory days of the South are over; the townÆs august homes are fading in disrepair in contrast to the commercial enterprises sprouting up around them; and Miss Emily has now become something of a ôhereditary obligation upon the townö, much like its antebellum era (Faulkner 1). Since Miss EmilyÆs fatherÆs death, she has become an obligation upon the town because of her adamant insistence that she owes no taxes. The former Mayor, Colonel Sartoris, a repetitive character in many Faulkner stories, created a tale that Miss EmilyÆs father had once loaned the town money and this obliges them to permit her lack of tax payments. Miss Emily refuses to accept the encroachment of modernity and slowly but stubbornly fades away from reality.

Faulkner uses symbolism to show that like the antebellum era before the Civil War, Miss Emily cannot adjust to encroaching modernity. The description of her house early in the story is meant to symbolize her character. Once stately, august, and proud, like Miss EmilyÆs family name, the house now seems out of place and in decay surrounded by commercial enterprises, ôàlifting its stubborn and coquettish decay above the cotton wagons and the gasoline pumpsùan eyesore among eyesoresö (Faulkner 1). Miss Emily may have once been a Southern belle who was coquettish, but she has now become old and stubborn much like her house. Her former tax arrangement orchestrated by Colonel Sartoris no longer gels with modern town officials, ôWhen the next generation, with its more modern ideas, became mayors and aldermen, this arrangement created some little dissatisfactionö (Faulk


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A Faded Rose. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 13:35, May 29, 2020, from