A Rose For Emily New South Vs

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A Rose For Emily New South Vs. Old Essay, Research Paper A Rose for Emily William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily” tells the story of a young woman who is violated by her father’s strict mentality. After being the only man in her life Emily’s father died and she found it difficult to let go. Emily was raised during the pre-civil war era. Like her father, Emily possessed a stubborn outlook towards life, and refused to change. Emily could have been seen as a representative of the old south. She represented the ideas and mores of a society that was crushed by both the war and its eventual defeat. This story, on the exterior appears to be little more than a horror story. However, it is clear that Faulkner intends to show much more than that. He wants us to see how Emily,

the representative of the old south, fought the advent of the new society. Faulkner uses an unique structure to achieve his goal. As the book progressed there was not a steady progression of time. He changed from past to present in order to illustrate the idea of conflict between new and old. Emily personified a way of living, a society, that was slowly being dismissed. Examples of her clinging to the old ways of the south are found everywhere. One example can be found in this short excerpt from the story. “On the first of the year they mailed her a tax notice. February came and there was no reply. They wrote her a formal letter asking her to call at the sheriff’s office at her convenience. A week later the mayor wrote her himself, offering to call or to send his car for her,

and received in reply a note on paper of an archaic shape, in a thin flowing calligraphy in faded ink , to the effect that she no longer went out at all. The tax notice was also enclosed, without comment,” (Faulkner, ). She thought she had no taxes because she never had paid them before. However, after the souths defeat in the Civil War all southerners had to pay taxes. She is unable and unwilling to allow change such as taxes to affect her. This stubborn attitude came from her father’s strict teachings. Miss Emily had been through much and had seen many generations of traditional southerners grow around her. Her more traditional upbringing supported her strong Confederate beliefs. Homer on the other hand was quite the opposite, “A Yankee–a big, dark, ready man, with a

big voice and eyes lighter than his face,” (Faulkner, ). Homer described himself as a man who couldn’t be tied down. This was to be a terrible opposition for Miss Emily. She had not been allowed to marry while her father was alive. Finally she was able to pursue a relationship, and took interest in Homer. However, she was unable to have him for several reasons. One of them was the social implications her marriage to Homer would have caused. Traditionally it was not acceptable for a woman of her standing to marry a Yankee laborer. The women of the town stated, “At first we were glad Miss Emily would have an interest , but then stated, Of course a Grierson would not think seriously of a Northerner, a day laborer” (Faulkner, ). Miss Emily refused to allow modern change into

her desolate life once again. She refused to let the newer generation fasten metal numbers above her door and attach a mailbox when Jefferson got free mail service. This reflects Miss Emily’s unyielding persona caused by her father’s treatment when she was young. This is also just another way she resists the flow of time and society. “She died in one of the downstairs rooms, in a heavy walnut bed with a curtain, her gray head propped on a pillow yellow and moldy with age and lack of sunlight,” (Faulkner, ). Her death though not truly tragic, marked the death of an era. When Miss Emily died Jefferson lost a monument of the Old South. “A small, fat, woman in black woman in black, with a thin gold chain descending to her waist and vanishing into her belt,” (Faulkner, ).