A Rose for Emily Questions and Answers
by William Faulkner

A Rose for Emily book cover
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Where is the personification in "A Rose for Emily"?

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Olen Bruce eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Here are two more examples of personification from the story "A Rose for Emily." Personification is a literary device that involves making something inanimate seem human by giving it human qualities and powers. One example is "garages and cotton gins had encroached and obliterated even the august names of that neighborhood." In this example, garages and cotton gins seem to have the power to cause the decay of the neighborhood in which Miss Emily lives. They themselves, and not the people who own or run them, make the neighborhood come down in status.

Another example is "the front door closed upon the last one and remained closed for good." In this subtle example, the door seems to close on Miss Emily's guests of its own accord, rather than being operated by Miss Emily or her servant. This example makes the house seem like it has its own personality and a mind of its own, and it makes it seem as if the house can function without any sort of human control.

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mrs-campbell eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Personification is when you give inanimate objects human-like traits.  There is only one obvious sign of personification, which is found in the second paragraph, as the narrator describes Miss Emily's decaying house that was "lifting its stubborn and coquettish decay above" the rest of the street.  Houses cannot lift; so, that is an example of the figurative language technique of personfication.  Throughout the rest of the story there are no more indications of personification, so I hope that is the one that your teacher is referring to.  If you meant something else by the question, then submit another query, but be more specific.  I hope that helped a little bit!

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