Discuss the ways Faulkner uses Miss Emily's house as an appropriate setting and as a metaphor for both her and the established themes in "A Rose for Emily".

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The crumbling, old Grierson house serves as a symbol for all of author William Faulkner's themes in "A Rose for Emily." Like Miss Emily, it symbolizes the Decline of the Old South.

... set on what had once been our most select street... only Miss Emily's house was left, lifting its stubborn and coquettish decay... an eyesore among eyesores.

It represents death--of the Old South and as a final resting place for Emily's loved ones: both Emily's father--she would not allow his body to be removed for several days following Mr. Grierson's death--and for Homer Barron and, later, Emily herself. The house serves as a place of isolation for Emily, who rarely is seen in public, and who prefers to live her life as she always has within the walls. Inside, time never changes, and Emily adapts to the stagnancy within. Like Emily, the house slowly is reduced from its 1870s grandeur into a "fallen monument," a reminder of the glorious past now nearly forgotten by the new generations who have come to dominate the town.

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A Rose for Emily

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