The story'' A Rose of Emily '' covers different time periods. How does each generation reflect their own ideas & standards?

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troutmiller eNotes educator| Certified Educator

With Emily's father, we see the old South's beliefs and standards.  Men were to be chivalrous.  They believed that women were completely innocent and moral.  And they all wanted nothing to do with the Yankees from the north.  We see this with not only Emily's father, but also with Colonel Sartoris.  Her father wants no one around his daughter because no one is good enough for her.  She is too innocent for any of the men out there, so he's saving her for the best (who never shows up).  Sartoris won't charge Emily her back taxes because of these same ideals.  He makes up some crazy story to get her out of paying them. Even Judge Stevens refuses to approach Emily about the horrible stench coming out of her house.

The newer generation would be the men who accept Homer Barron as he courts Emily.  The older men dislike it and see it as shameful.  The younger ones don't seem to mind him as much. The men who keep sending Emily the tax bills are of the younger generation.  She needs to pay these taxes, no matter who she is.  But they are "outdone" by Sartoris in this.  Even Judge Stevens has to quiet the young man who suggests that they go directly to Emily when they're dusting her house around its edges to eliminate the smell.  That young man was ready to approach her about the smell. There are plenty of examples to show the differences between the generations.

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A Rose for Emily

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