How would "A Rose for Emily" be different if the story had happened in China?

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accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

You need to be very careful when considering such a question, as it is clear that what dominates in the writing of William Faulkner is the South and the antiquated values that he writes about and how they fade away. Clearly, basing this story in any other location would lead to some quite radical changes as cultural values are different wherever you go. I am not an expert on China and their culture, but I would be surprised if the same values of chivalry existed as they did in the South, and thus Miss Emily might not receive the tax exemption thanks to Sartoris. In the same way, the position of women would probably be much lower, so it is unlikely that people would stay away from Miss Emily's house for so long, deterred by her inscrutable appearance and aloof personality.

However, arguably, there are definitely some aspects of the story that would transfer well from culture to culture. The way in which Miss Emily was raised and how her father prevented her from having any suitors is something that we can easily imagine happening in China, and the theme of love at any cost that is revealed with the body of Barron is likewise something that is universal.

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A Rose for Emily

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