Discuss the use of the first-person plural and its effects in "A Rose for Emily."

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In "A Rose for Emily," Faulkner chooses to use a first-person plural narrator in order to highlight the fact that “we,” the townsfolk of Jefferson, have changed, whereas Miss Emily Grierson has not.

The townsfolk live in the present, whereas Miss Emily lives in the past. This explains why the good folk of Jefferson revere the old lady, treating her as a living relic of a supposedly more glorious time, the days of the Old South.

Even so, it is impossible to avoid the fact that there is, somewhat inevitably, a gap between Miss Emily and the townsfolk, just as there's always a distance between past and present. This gap is reflected in the language Faulkner uses to distinguish Miss Emily from the other people in the town. Whereas they are “we,” she is always “she,” clearly implying that although she may live in Jefferson, she is most certainly not of it.

In other words, due to her eccentricity and her isolation from the rest of the townsfolk, she's spiritually distant from the small Southern town in which she's spent her whole life.

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