A Rose for Emily Questions and Answers
by William Faulkner

A Rose for Emily book cover
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In the story "A Rose for Emily," is it significant that Emily is the last Grierson? Why or why not? In the story "A Rose for Emily," is it significant that Emily is the last Grierson? Why or why not?

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Bruce Bergman eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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For similar reasons to those posted above, I would also say the answer is yes. Emily's status as the last in a family line is important to the meaning of the story. As the world changes around Emily's house, she clings to the vestiges of the past, refusing to change along with the world around her. She is the end of something, representing a whole culture that is passing away.

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Yes it is significant that Miss Emily is the last of the Griersons. Faulkner makes mention of "the august names"--those respected and venerable families that used to populate the region. Emily is the last, and she is no longer respected or venerable. In addition, look at how her life has slowly arrived at it's lonely and unsavory conclusion. This is not the way we would expect one of those "august" families to end.

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Lori Steinbach eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Miss Emily is the last of her kind, certainly. She is the last living Grierson, of course, and she does represent the dying vestiges of the Old South, as the posts above point out. When Emily appears to...

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