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What is the dominant atmosphere in "A Rose for Emily?"

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sgaddy21 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 20, 2013 at 3:30 PM via web

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What is the dominant atmosphere in "A Rose for Emily?"

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 20, 2013 at 4:18 PM (Answer #1)

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The general atmosphere of the story “A Rose for Emily” is pleasant indifference.

The narrator of the story describes the town’s attitude toward Miss Emily, the daughter of the town patriarch.  Although there is some general curiosity, the town really isn’t interested in her or sorry she died.  She is a recluse and an eccentric, and her behavior is generally selfish.

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…had seen in at least ten years.

This opening sentence demonstrates the no one really cared about Emily, and this is the general atmosphere throughout the story.  They are curious, and not mean-spirited, but generally indifferent.

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