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William Faulkner: A Rose for Emily

“A Rose for Emily” (1930) is set in the Southern town of Jefferson in Yoknapatawpha County. Faulkner borrows many elements from the Southern Gothic tradition.

Introduction to the Text

“A Rose for Emily” (1930) is a story of the macabre and horrifying. The atmosphere is moody and foreboding. There is a feeling of decay as described in the crumbling old mansion. The character of Emily Grierson, the Southern belle of the OLD South is much in distress. She is victimized by the restriction society has placed on her. A symbol of post-Civil-War South, her appearance changes over time. She becomes grotesque in appearance, thought and deed. Tyrannized by her Grandfather and Father, Emily’s fight against conformity and the changes taking place in the new South lead her to commit murder. We gain insight into Emily’s character through the eyes of the townspeople, the aldermen and different members of the new South. Unyielding to the physical changes in Jefferson, she refuses to accept death and her insanity and sexual deviation are revealed at the end of the story.

Learning content

Literature after 1900

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