A Rose for Emily Questions and Answers
by William Faulkner

A Rose for Emily book cover
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How did the townspeople treat Miss Emily?    

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Lisa Metcalf eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Another aspect of the story to consider is the difference between the older generation of people like Colonol Sartoris and Judge Stevens, and the younger generation of aldermen who are in charge of the town in the later part of Emily's life.  The older generation show a more respectful attitude for Miss Emily.  Her taxes were remitted and the men spread the lime around her house, rather than confront her about the smell.  The older generation treats her like a "duty and a care" and a "heriditary obligation."  The younger generation show little sympathy for her and her odd ways.

The younger generation feels no such nostaglia for the old ways and the people like Miss Emily that represent the faded glory of the gentry in the late 1800's.  It is a lone member of the younger generation that wants to insist that Miss Emily be told she has a certain amount of time to clean up the house, but he is overruled by the majority (at that time) of the older generation.  It is the younger...

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