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In "A Rose for Emily," what does this quote mean, and what is its significance? "When...

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ringaroundthe... | Student, Grade 9 | eNoter

Posted May 2, 2011 at 8:21 AM via web

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In "A Rose for Emily," what does this quote mean, and what is its significance? "When her father died, it got about that the house was all that was...

all that was left to her, in a way, people were glad.  At last they could pity Miss Emily.  Being left alone, and a pauper, she had become humanized.  Now she too would know the old thrill and the old despair of a penny more or less."

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 2, 2011 at 9:11 AM (Answer #1)

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The Grierson family had once been a prominent one in Jefferson, and their house had been one of the finest in the town. But by the time of Emily's father's death, there was no family money left--only the old, crumbling house. Since the "Grierson's had always held themselves a little too high for what they really were," the townspeople had never really felt any pity for them. But now that the town knew that Emily was penniless, and that she was no longer bound by the iron hand of her father, the people of Jefferson felt that they could now feel sorry for her. Now that she had become "humanized," Emily was an equal to the rest of the townspeople: She, too, was now poor, and she would have to live the rest of her life with the financial uncertainties that other "paupers" endure.

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