Language and "A Rose for Emily"What sentences do you like most in this story and why?
I like the line when Judge Stevens responds to the complaints about the smell emanating from Miss Emily's home. When a younger man suggests at the board of aldermen that they simply tell her to clean her place up within a certain amount of time, Judge Stevens replies, "Damn it, sir, will you accuse a lady to her face of smelling bad?"
While it seems like a funny "throwaway" kind of line, Judge Stevens is actually summing up a lot of the social issues in the town. There is a divide between the older and younger generation about propriety and how to go about handling delicate situations. There is a gender component to the issue because telling a lady her house smells bad is the untimate insult of southern white womanhood. Finally, the comment highlights the tenuous relationship Emily has with the rest of the town--they are troubled by her behavior, but they are also afraid of her.
I like this sentence: "Damn it, sir," Judge Stevens said," will you accuse a lady to her face of smelling bad?"
They just don't make gentlemen like that anymore!
Since someone else chose that sentence too, here's a second one that says something to me:
So when she got to be thirty and was still single, we were not pleased exactly, but vindicated; even with insanity in the family she wouldn't have turned down all of her chances if they had really materialized.
I'm surprised they let her get to 30! My aunts and uncles started in on me when I was 20: When are you going to get married? When are you going to get a husband? You're not a woman until you're married. I think that's why I'm still single at 48--just to spite them!
I LOVE Faulkner's writing style. He is known for his verbose writing style, but I adore it. His complex sentences are a joy to read.
My favorite sentences in the story are the last ones:
Then we noticed that in the second pillow was the indentation of a head One of us lifted
something from it, and leaving forward, that faint and invisible dust dry and acrid in the
nostrils, we saw a long strand of iron-gray hair.
**Excerpt taken from http://www.eng.fju.edu.tw/English_Literature/Rose/el-text-E-Rose.htm**
I love these lines because this is the truly shocking end to an already strange story of a peculiar and sad woman.
Reply to #3 Right you are, Linda! I waited until I was 29 to get married, and don't you know my father was chomping at the bit. Immediately afterward, my father called weekly to ask my husband when the grandkids were coming and did he (my husband) need instructions. Ugh!
Ditto on the "smelling bad" sentence. It has always been one of my favorite lines. :)