Analysis Of Southern Tradition In A Rose For Emily By William Faulkner

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Southern Tradition William Faulkner has been considered of the greatest American authors of all time, although not until close to his death in 1962. His works focus mainly on Mississippi in the nineteenth century, but the themes he explores are universal. In “A Rose for Emily,” William Faulkner comments on the South’s refusal to accept inevitable change, both socially and historically. The South will have a lonely death without adapting to the changing, like Emily Grierson. The South, as a region, was pressed by traditions and history. Class and social rank had a huge influence on the south, with titles playing a big role in the story. Emily Grierson was referred to as “Miss”, and the mayor referred to as “Colonel Sartoris” (Faulkner, 1). …show more content…
Tobe, the manservant, was hardly referred to by his name, other than by Miss Emily. The narrator referred to him as “The Negro” (Faulkner, 1). Colonel Sartoris claimed that “no negro woman should appear on the streets without an apron” (Faulkner, 1). African Americans in the nineteenth century were almost always servants, with the men usually working outside in gardens, and the women working inside, making food and cleaning houses. Sexism was at its peak in the 1800s. Women in the nineteenth century were seen as housewives and nothing more. They were to keep the house clean, and the table full of food. Judge Stevens refused to directly call-out Emily, a “lady,” on the smell the was emanating from her house, saying “will you accuse a lady to her face of smelling bad?” (Faulkner, 2.) Also at that time, women were expected to marry young, so when Emily was thirty and still not married, the townspeople were not happy, and thought …show more content…
Her father held a special place in her heart, obviously, as she had at first refused to acknowledge that he had died at all. Her father had “driven all the young men away” (Pearson, 36), which is why when he died, she had at first refused to even acknowledge his death, and the doctors and ministers were almost forced to take his body, knowing that she was only doing this because “she would have cling to that which she had been robbed.” (Faulkner, 2.) Being a woman in the South also caught the attention of all the other women in her town. The older women believed that even in a sea of grief, a woman should not forget “noblesse oblige” (Faulkner, 3). There was also a lot of pressure as a southerner to marry a “Southern Gentleman.” When Homer Barron is introduced and is a love interest for Emily, she seemed to demand even more recognition as a Grierson, for she was seen with Barron, a Yankee, a day laborer, and that was not suited for a southern woman like Emily. Spinsterhood was also a big deal in the South in the nineteenth century. There was a certain pressure to get married young, and being single at the age of thirty was another way for the townspeople to feel sorry for Emily. When Homer and Emily are seen in public together, the women feel bad for her, settling for a northerner, and think she has set out to kill herself when she buys rat poison, which would make sense if was with a Yankee. The traditions

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