What is the difference between Northerners and Southerners and why would they not marry each other as im Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily"?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

For the most part, there is little to separate Northerners and Southerners other than geographical boundaries, such as the Mason-Dixon Line. But had you grown up in the Deep South during the time of William Faulkner's short story, "A Rose for Emily," the differences would be a little clearer. The South's hatred of the Northern states had been building since long before the Civil War. Most Northerners disapproved of the slavery still in existence in Southern states, and Southerners did not care for the large number of immigrants that flocked to Northern cities. As the Civil War drew near, the North's political power became overwhelming; and when Abraham Lincoln was elected president, the Southern states soon seceded, and Lincoln sent troops into the new Confederacy to bring them under control--and back into the Union.

The hatred and bloodshed intensified for four years, resulting in a defeated and devastated South. Slavery was no more, the Southern economy was wrecked, and many of the Southern men never returned home. Southerners were forced into a Northern-created Reconstruction period, in which the states were forced to conform to a new set of rules--both social and political. The South slowly rebuilt itself, returning to a more prosperous lifestyle, but most Southerners never got over their hatred of the "damned Yankees" who had destroyed their lands.

Such feelings were still evident in Jefferson in "A Rose for Emily." There were still surviving veterans of the war, telling their tales to a new generation willing to listen. Yankees were still barely tolerated in places such as Jefferson, though Homer Barron's ready smile and good humor won over many new friends. Many people thought it disgraceful, however, that Miss Emily--a member of one of the town's most illustrious families--would even consider lowering herself to marrying such a man, Northern born and of a common background. In Jefferson, such a match would still have been considered scandalous.

emensah | Student

The southerners held on to tradition and history and the northerners did not like the southerners because of slavery.

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A Rose for Emily

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