Describe the narrators attitude toward Miss Emily. Is his attitude the same as that of the towns people?

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pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In my opinion, the narrator in the story speaks for the townspeople, though there is some disagreement about this among people who study this story.

I think that both the narrator and the people of the community are a little intimidated by Miss Emily even as they sort of pity her and think of her as outdated.  We can see the pity right away when the narrator talks about how she was an obligation that the town had and about how no one really went to her funeral because they cared about her.

But, at the same time, the people are kind of intimidated by her.  The city council, for example, is unable to force her to pay taxes or to do anything about the smell.

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Doug Stuva | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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In Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily," the narrator is the townspeople, or at least one of them. 

The narrator reveals just what townspeople would know about Emily.  He reveals what people on the outside would experience concerning the house, except in certain circumstances, like when townspeople enter the house to retrieve the father's body, or to tell Emily that she needs to pay taxes.  In that case we get description of just the part of the house the people were allowed in. 

Note the incident involving the buying of poison.  That would have been witnessed by the pharmacist.  Note the incident when men spread lyme around the house to eliminate the odor:  we get only what the men do on the outside, and what someone would have seen--Emily in the window. 

The story is not told in any way from Emily's point of view.  We get only what outsiders experience:  only what the townspeople experience.

 

mani1431986's profile pic

mani1431986 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

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n my opinion, the narrator in the story speaks for the townspeople, though there is some disagreement about this among people who study this story.

I think that both the narrator and the people of the community are a little intimidated by Miss Emily even as they sort of pity her and think of her as outdated.  We can see the pity right away when the narrator talks about how she was an obligation that the town had and about how no one really went to her funeral because they cared about her.

But, at the same time, the people are kind of intimidated by her.  The city council, for example, is unable to force her to pay taxes or to do anything about the smell.

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