Monday, July 5, 2010

A Rose for Emily

“A Rose for Emily” is William Faulkner’s most famous short story and was his first story to be accepted and published by a national magazine in 1930. The five-part, short story “A Rose for Emily” is a gothic tale creating a gloomy, doom-like atmosphere in which an old woman completely shuts out the outside world, living in a decaying mansion with one of the floors closed. The story begins with the death and funeral of Miss Emily Grierson. “When Miss Emily Grierson died, our whole town went to her funeral: the men through a sort of respectful affection for a fallen monument, the women mostly out of curiosity to see the inside of her house, which no one save an old man-servant--a combined gardener and cook--had seen in at least ten years” (Faulkner 221). Emily is seen buying arsenic from the druggist and later her boyfriend, Homer Barron disappeared, being last seen entering Emily’s home. After Homer’s disappearance, Emily begins to age, gain weight, and is rarely ever seen outside of her mansion. Emily passes away and after the funeral the townspeople enter Emily’s home being curious of the interior of the grand mansion. In a room on the second floor which has not been seen in forty years were the remains of Homer and next to him a long strand of iron-gray hair representing the murder of Homer by Emily (Faulkner 223).


Faulkner, William. Short Stories of William Faulkner: A Rose for Emily. New York, NY: The Modern Library, 2003.

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