“A Rose for Emily” is a short story by William Faulkner that was first published in 1930.The story takes place in Faulkner’s fictional city, Jefferson, Mississippi, in the early 20th century.
The story is narrated by an unnamed first-person narrator who is generally omniscient but often focuses on Miss Emily’s point of view. The plot centers around the mysterious death of Emily’s husband, Homer Barron, and the rumors surrounding it.
Miss Emily is a reclusive woman who lives with her father and servants. She is a member of a once-prominent family that has fallen on hard times. Homer Barron is a construction worker from the North who has come to Jefferson to work on a new sewer system. He is a rough-looking man, but Miss Emily is drawn to him and they begin a secret relationship.
The townspeople gossip about their relationship and speculate that Homer will marry Miss Emily. However, Homer is not interested in getting married and he eventually leaves town, without even saying goodbye to Miss Emily.
Miss Emily’s father dies soon after Homer leaves and she is left alone in the family home. A few years later, Homer Barron returns to Jefferson and moves in with Miss Emily. The townspeople are shocked and gossip about the situation.
Homer Barron is never seen again and it is rumored that Miss Emily killed him. A few days after his disappearance, a bad smell emanating from the house leads the townspeople to investigate. They find Homer Barron’s decomposing body in an upstairs bedroom, lying on a bed with a pillow over his face.
Miss Emily is arrested and taken to jail. She is eventually released and returns to her home, where she lives as a recluse until her death many years later.
The short story “A Rose for Emily” is about an elderly woman named Mrs. Emily who does not accept or tolerate change in her life. Mrs. Emily is a very literal character who will not pay her taxes or hang numbered tags outside her home or on her mailbox for her address. William Faulkner’s narrative and plot structure help to elevate the conflict between Mrs. Emily and the community.
The story is set in the fictional town of Jefferson, Mississippi. The town is struggling to accept the changes that are happening during the post- Civil War Reconstruction era. Mrs. Emily is one of the few characters who refuses to change with the times.
The story is told from the perspective of an unnamed narrator who is looking back on events that happened before he was born. The first section of the story introduces Mrs. Emily and her father, Mr. Grierson. Mrs Emily is a shy and mysterious woman who keeps to herself. Mr. Grierson is a very controlling man who does not allow anyone to get close to his daughter.
The second section of the story takes place after Mr. Grierson’s death. Mrs. Emily is now living alone in her house with only her servant, Tobe. The townspeople are surprised to see that Mrs. Emily has not left her house since her father’s funeral.
The third section of the story takes place many years later. Mrs. Emily has not been seen in public for a long time and the townspeople are starting to get worried about her. A man named Homer Barron comes to town and he quickly becomes friends with Mrs. Emily. The townspeople are surprised by this because Homer is an outsider and he is not from a good family.
The fourth section of the story takes place after Homer Barron has disappeared. Mrs. Emily is seen in public for the first time in years and she is acting very strange. The townspeople are starting to suspect that she killed Homer Barron and they are planning to send her away.
The fifth and final section of the story takes place after Mrs. Emily’s death. The townspeople break into her house and they find Homer Barron’s body in an upstairs room. Mrs. Emily has been sleeping with his corpse for many years.
The story ends with the townspeople realizing that Mrs. Emily was never able to accept change in her life. She was unable to let go of her father or Homer Barron and she ended up living in a world of her own making.
The narrator’s position in the story is also influenced by this unique arrangement of events. The plot sequence Faulkner employed gives a little life to the narrator, making the reader feel as if they are almost a participant in the tale rather than being told about Mrs. Emily’s history. Faulkner is also able to give the narrator a voice like that of a townsperson, which allows the reader to get a complete picture and understanding of the community members.
The story is Faulkner’s most anthologized and is often considered his best work. The reason for this could be due to the interesting plot structure, which gives the story a unique voice. The story is also set in Faulkner’s beloved Yoknapatawpha County, which provides a rich backdrop for the characters.
The story begins with the village gathering at her home after she passes away, explaining why everyone is attending her funeral rather than out of anger. The town of Jefferson was curious about Mrs. Emily, and when she died, “the whole town went to her funeral: the men through a form of respectful affection for a fallen monument, the women mostly out of curiosity to see the inside of her house.”
The story then goes back in time to when Miss Emily was a young girl. A few years after her father’s death, she refused all of her suitors which led the townspeople to believe that she would never marry. A number of years later, when she was about thirty, the townspeople became aware that she was seeing Homer Barron, a Yankee from New England who worked for the street-paving crew.
Homer was not considered a good match for Miss Emily because he was not from a “good family” and he did not have much money. The townspeople disapproved of the relationship, but Miss Emily continued to see Homer Barron.
One day, Homer Barron disappeared and was not seen again. A few days later, Miss Emily was seen buying rat poison at the drugstore. The townspeople assumed that she had killed Homer Barron and buried him in her backyard. However, they could not prove it because no one saw her do it.
Seven years after Homer Barron disappeared, Miss Emily’s house was falling apart and smelled bad. The town council sent a man to talk to her about the situation and she told him that she would not let anyone enter her house. A few days later, two men from the city came to Miss Emily’s house with a “spraying machine” to get rid of the smell. They found her upstairs in a room that had been locked for years. In the room, they found the body of Homer Barron. He was lying on the bed with a rose in his hand and Emily by his side.
It is implied that Miss Emily killed Homer Barron because she could not bear to lose him. She loved him so much that she wanted to keep him with her forever. The rose in his hand symbolizes her love for him.