A Rose for Emily Questions and Answers
by William Faulkner

A Rose for Emily book cover
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What characters are in conflict with Emily and how?

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There are several characters who disapprove of Emily's relationship with Homer Barron and try to do something about it. Several women of the town convince the minister to go talk to Emily about it, and then his wife writes a letter to Emily's cousins when the minister gets nowhere. Her cousins stay at Emily's home for several days, trying to talk to her about what they consider her inappropriate relationship with Homer, who is also a Yankee. Homer leaves town during this time, but he and Emily resume their relationship as soon as the cousins are gone.

The new generation of the town leaders don't think it's right that Emily doesn't pay taxes, so they try to convince her that what Colonel Sartoris had promised her no longer applied. They get nowhere with her either. She just tells them to see the Colonel.

The greatest conflict Emily has is with the town as a whole. The narrator who tells the story represents the average people of the town and their feelings toward Emily. They seem to be obsessed with Emily and her life, even though she has very little to do with them over the years. As stated earlier, it's the "ladies" of the town who complain about her relationship with Homer. When the town notices the strange smell coming from Emily's house, they take care of it themselves because they know it will do no good to talk to Emily.

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