A Rose for Emily Questions and Answers
by William Faulkner

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What is the dominant impression/mood of the story "A Rose For Emily"?

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Faulkner creates a solemn mood in the story's opening with the invocation of Emily Grierson's funeral. The mood progresses to unsettled dread with the elaborate descriptions of her dusty house and inability to change with the times. Emily Grierson's purchase of poison heightens the reader's sense that the worst is yet to come. The story's evolving tone culminates in outright horror with the narrator's final description of the sight of the "long strand of iron-gray hair" that shared a bed with the skeletal remains of Homer Barron.

The descriptions of Emily Grierson's house dominate the narrative and the diction builds an impression of decay and disuse that the reader understands are meant to represent what Faulkner thought of the old South. Words and phrases like "dust and shadows," "moldy with age," "sibilant and macabre" are interspersed among images of "brushed Confederate uniforms" and "august names...in the cedar-bemused cemetery among the ranked and anonymous graves of Union and...

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