Discuss how Faulkner's treatment of the North and the South contributes to the meaning of the story "A Rose for Emily"?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Being a native Mississippian, author William Faulkner is sympathetic to the attitudes and culture of the Deep South. Virtually anyone who is not from Jefferson (or Mississippi) is considered an outsider--from Homer Barron to Miss Emily's relatives, who hail from Alabama. The townspeople of Jefferson seem to have a general mistrust of these characters, though Homer is generally described in a positive light. Homer represents the modern era: He has come to Jefferson to oversee the construction of new sidewalks in town. Miss Emily's relatives represent the common sense side that Emily is not perceived to possess. Homer particularly symbolizes the common people outside the realm of the ante-bellum Southern aristocracy and, despite his winning personality, he represents the encroachment of the modern world. He is a modern day carpetbagger who comes to earn a living in the defeated South not that far removed from the memories of the Civil War. When Emily is rejected by this man--perhaps her last chance at romance and marriage--it is yet another defeat for Emily, who represents the last vestiges of the Old South.

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A Rose for Emily

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