What metaphor is used to describe Miss Emily in the first paragraph of "A Rose for Emily"?

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ms-mcgregor | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Using a metaphor, the narrator describes Emily as a "fallen monument". After the narrator says, "the whole town went to her funeral" the metaphor of a fallen monument adds additional stature to Miss Emily and shows the importance of her to the town. However, the idea that she is a "fallen" monument foreshadows some of the more sinister events that will follow in the story. Faulkner then adds more suspense by saying that no one had seen the inside of her house "in at least ten years." Thus, in one paragraph, the author has sparked our curiosity about the true character of this woman.

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Susan Hurn | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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In the opening of the story, Miss Emily is referred to as "a fallen monument." As a metaphor, this fits her in several ways. She has died or "fallen." She has been a part of the town for so long that she is viewed as an enduring monument of sorts, rather than a human being. Another name for a monument is a memorial. Calling Emily a memorial is apt. Her life was lived as a memorial to her dead father and to a Southern culture that had disappeared long before.

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