What would be considered an extended metaphor in A Rose for Emily?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

An example of an extended metaphor in "A Rose for Emily" is her house, which serves as a metaphor for the Old South (as does Miss Emily herself). The house is extensively described in the second paragraph of the story:

"It was a big, squarish frame house that...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

An example of an extended metaphor in "A Rose for Emily" is her house, which serves as a metaphor for the Old South (as does Miss Emily herself). The house is extensively described in the second paragraph of the story:

"It was a big, squarish frame house that had once been white, decorated with cupolas and spires and scrolled balconies in the heavily lightsome style of the seventies, set on what had once been our most select street. But garages and cotton gins had encroached and obliterated even the august names of that neighborhood; only Miss Emily's house was left, lifting its stubborn and coquettish decay above the cotton wagons and the gasoline pumps-an eyesore among eyesores. And now Miss Emily had gone to join the representatives of those august names where they lay in the cedar-bemused cemetery among the ranked and anonymous graves of Union and Confederate soldiers who fell at the battle of Jefferson."

The house used to be a stately planation house of the time when slavery still existed, and wealthy white people ruled the town. But times are changing, and at the time of her death, the new generation is becoming more modernized, even though the old generation is still clinging to their old ways (for example, Emily will not pay her taxes and the old men of the town come to her funeral in their Confederate uniforms), and the house is also still clinging on. The house is still there, but it's falling apart. New inventions, such as the automobile and the cotton gin, are quite literally encroaching upon the house, and these things are metaphors for the new generation that is moving in to take the place of the old ways of the Old South.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team