A Rose For Emily By William Faulkner Essay

1093 Words Nov 16th, 2015 null Page
"Alive, Miss Emily had been a tradition," the narrator of William Faulkner 's “A Rose for Emily” tells us (Faulkner, 204). To the people of Jefferson, Miss Emily is a figure of awe and a source of fascinating stories. Within this short story, the narrator explores the life and death of an eccentric, stubborn, and traditionally minded woman who refuses to change with the times and embrace the early twentieth century. Emily Grierson lives a traditional lifestyle compared to others in the town and seems determined to fight the influence of the changing times whenever she encounters it.
The people of Jefferson see Emily as a relic of the past because of her attitudes and lifestyle. She lives in an old house which is “on what was once our most select street…lifting its stubborn and coquettish decay above the cotton wagons and gasoline pumps,” (Faulkner, 204). During her forties, Emily teaches china painting lessons, a talent that evidently becomes less important because “the painting pupils grew up and fell away and did not send their children to her” (210). Emily’s refusals to change are tolerated by the council because they are intimidated by her. For example, when the town council visits her house in an attempt to convince her to pay her taxes and she refuses, they do not simply leave her house afterwards, they are “vanquished” from it (206). Emily’s stubbornness is well-documented in the story about her buying the arsenic. When the druggist asks Emily what she wants the…

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