How is "A Rose for Emily" symbolic of the changes in the South from the post-Civil War period to the 1930s?
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Consider that an aristocratic Southerner murders a Yankee Carpetbagger and the connection to a defeated South triumphing over the “triumphant" North.
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Since before the Civil War and even long afterward, Southerners have always been perceived as slow to change with the times. Perhaps it is the easy-going, laid-back Southern lifestyle that seems to contrast so significantly with the large, busy cities of the Northeast. In any case, Faulkner's Jefferson was slow to change as well. The Civil War was still relived by many Southerners well into the 20th century: Veterans continued to meet at reunions for more than a half-century after the surrender at Appomattox. Survivors of the war (and their immediate descendants and spouses) lived on for more than a century after the war. (For example, General James Longstreet's young wife, Helen, died in 1962.) Many of the changes that were enacted in the South immediately following the war were Northern influenced, and when Reconstruction ended, the South seemed to revert back to an earlier time in an attempt to rebuild past glories. Miss Emily's father had probably served in the Confederacy, and such a person's influence was revered in many Southern towns for decades to come. As Civil War survivors and their descendants died off, the South slowly began to change as well.
As far as Miss Emily's murder of her Carpetbagging prospective husband, it's impossible to know her exact feelings. His Northern heritage seemed to be more important to Emily's neighbors than it was to her, though she seemed to realize that her only marital prospects would come in the form of newcomers to the town. The people of Jefferson may have seen the irony of the formerly "aristocratic" woman disposing of her Yankee beau, but I imagine her desperation for true love and a romantic partner far outweighed any urges to avenge her family's lost glory.
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