A Rose for Emily Questions and Answers
by William Faulkner

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How does the character background of Emily Grierson differ from that of Homer Barron in "A Rose for Emily"?

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Miss Emily Grierson hails from a prestigious southern family and is considered an aristocrat in Jefferson's community. She is described as being a "tradition, a duty, and a care" and was raised by an authoritative father who believed that nobody was ever quite good enough for his daughter. Emily's father exemplified southern aristocracy, and his oppressive influence negatively affected his daughter's social and mental development. Throughout the short story, Miss Emily symbolically represents the Old South and its traditional, formal ways of life.

In contrast, Homer Barron is a northern laborer who does not hail from a prestigious family. Despite being well-liked by the citizens of Jefferson, they object to him courting Miss Emily. The prejudiced citizens of Jefferson criticize Miss Emily for completely neglecting her "noblesse oblige" and do not approve of her relationship with Homer Barron. They view Homer as beneath Miss Emily and do not think that a man of his social standing and...

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