A Rose for Emily Questions and Answers
by William Faulkner

A Rose for Emily book cover
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In "A Rose for Emily," what are three significant examples of how privelege can be a prison? Is it first her father, who feels no one is good enough for Emily, then the next generation of Aldersmen who treat her as an enigma and feel they should never confront her, and finally the older women who are disgraced by her relationship to Homer - they feel that she is a representation of the history of the town and that this relationship is demeaning to them all.

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I think you have the right answer there. Let us remember how Miss Emily Grierson is introduced to us at the beginning of the story and how the townspeople think of her:

When Miss Emily Grierson died, our whole town went to her funeral: the men through a sort of respectful affection for a fallen monument, the women mostly out of curiostity to see the inside of her house...

It is clear that everyone comes to her funeral, but that their motives for appearing do not come from friendship or love, so she has obviously led a life characterised by isolation and loneliness. Note how she is described as a "tradition, a duty, and a care; a sort of hereditary obligation upon the town." Her good family and the treatment of her father in scaring away any potential suitors meant that her privilege has been transformed into a prison from which Miss Emily can only emerge through death. You have excellent examples to support this idea; now you need to identify quotes to support your arguments. Good luck!

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