A Rose for Emily Questions and Answers
by William Faulkner

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What is the argument in "A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner?

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Doug Stuva eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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There is no "argument" in Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily."  It is a fictional short story, not a nonfictional essay.  Argumentative essays present arguments, the best fiction usually doesn't, especially in the 20th century. 

Faulkner, of all writers, knows better than to present fiction that provides easy one-liners that presume to tell people how to live.  His fiction is filled with ambiguities, as is life.  There is no "message" argued in the story, only ideas that are raised and situations that are treated.  Faulkner's story is above giving simplistic answers to its readers. 

The desperation of the South following the Civil War is treated.  The loss of the South's economy is presented.  The reluctance to change and inability to adjust are...

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