“A Rose for Emily”
2) What is the effect of the final paragraph of the story? How does it contribute to your understanding of Emily? Why is it important that we get this information last rather at the beginning of the story?
The final paragraph explains what Emily did with the arsenic. Emily didn’t want to lose another person she loved like her father. Even though he was dead she still believed that he was alive. Emily said referring to her father, “She told them that her father was not dead” (86). Emily played the victim throughout the story. If Faulkner would have told about Emily murdering Homer we would have looked at Emily in a different way. One of the foreshowing parts was what was she going to do with the arsenic. If we would have known she already murdered Homer it would have been less suspension about what she did with the arsenic.
6) How does the information provided by the exposition indicate the nature of the conflict in the story? What does Emily’s southern heritage contribute to the story?
The exposition indicates the conflict of Emily and the society. Faulkner states, “When the next generation, with its more modern ideas, become mayor and aldermen, this arrangement created some little dissatisfaction” (84). Emily’s father had instilled the southern heritage into her. Faulkner says, “Alive, Miss Emily had been a tradition” (84). Emily was not willing to change. Being a “tradition” means something that had been handed down from generation to generation.
7) Who or what is the antagonist of the story? Why is it significant that Homer Barron is a construction foreman and a northerner?
Homer is the antagonist. Homer is the complete opposite of how Emily’s father had raised her. Emily’s father had raised her by strict southern rules. The north and south didn’t look at things the same way at this time. The ladies of the town did say, “Of course a Grierson would not think seriously of a Northerner, a day labor” (87). I guess opposites do attach at least in Emily’s mind.
9) Explain how Emily reasons for murdering Homer are related to her personal history and to the ways she handled previous conflicts.
Emily has a hard time letting people go. She didn’t want to bury her father. Faulkner states, “She did that for three days, with the ministers calling on her, and the doctor, trying to persuade her to let them dispose of the body. Just as they were about to resort to law and force, she broke down, and they buried he father quickly” (86). She “broke down” which indicates that she does have a hard time letting go. She did the same thing with Homer. He was openly gay. Faulkner says, “Homer himself had remarked –he liked men” (88). In order to keep Homer, Emily murdered him.
Faulkner, William. “A Rose for Emily.” The Compact Bedford Introduction to Literature. Ed. Michael Meyer. 9th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s 2012. 84-90. Print.