In "A Rose for Emily", how is Faulkner critical of slavery?

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ms-mcgregor | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Slavery as a separate issue is not really mentioned in "A Rose for Emily". There is only one Black character and that is the housekeeper/butler that Miss Emily has. Since the story takes place after the Civil War, he is not a slave but a servant. The only inference we can make is that he knew what was going on in Emily's house with the body of Homer Baron, and said nothing. That is why he leaves immediately after the people come to her house after her death. He knows what they will find and he doesn't want to answer any questions. He might be afraid of being accused of being complicit in Homer's murder or charged with hiding the murder. As far as being a comment on slavery, the servants actions may be a comment that he was afraid of losing his job by betraying Miss Emily's secret and/or being accused of some kind of crime he did not commit. This could be one method Faulkner had of condemning the treatment of African Americans because of the fear of economic loss or fear of being innocently accused.

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