List things that Emily holds on to in the story "A Rose for Emily."

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linda-allen eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Three things that Emily holds on to:

Tradition--once a routine has been established, she refuses to alter it. For instance, while he was alive, Colonel Sartoris took pity on Emily and made sure that she paid no taxes. After he died, no one remembered that kindness except Emily, who ever after refused to pay her taxes. No matter how many tried to persuade her otherwise, she stands firm, "I have no taxes in Jefferson!"

The old ways--similar to tradition. Rather than hire a maid to do the housekeeping, Emily hangs on to Tobe. He had been a "man-servant," perhaps butler, to her father. Now he is Emily's only servant. Also, Emily's only means of earning money is to teach ladies how to paint designs on china--a hobby that few people had anymore.

Loved ones--the whole gist of the story is Emily's inability to let go of the people she loves. She denied that her father had died and held on to his body for three days, and we know what she did with Homer Barron's body!

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A Rose for Emily

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