A Rose for Emily Questions and Answers
by William Faulkner

A Rose for Emily book cover
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How is "A Rose for Emily" allegorical?

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Faulkner's short story "A Rose for Emily" is an allegory that depicts the fall of the Old South following the Civil War. Throughout the story, Emily and her dilapidated mansion represent the Old South. Emily Grierson hails from a once wealthy, plantation-owning family, who lived in a beautiful mansion on the most prestigious street in Jefferson. At the beginning of the story, Emily is referred to as a "fallen monument" when the community of Jefferson gathers to witness her funeral and enter her home for the first time in decades.

During Emily's life, her domineering father passes away, which negatively affects her mental state as she becomes a reclusive woman. Eventually, Emily begins to date Homer Barron, a working-class foreman from the North, who symbolizes Northern business interests following the Civil War. Emily ends up poisoning Homer Barron and refuses to leave her home for the remainder of her life.

When the newer generation of Jefferson approaches Emily about not paying her taxes,...

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