A Rose for Emily Questions and Answers
by William Faulkner

A Rose for Emily book cover
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What is the purpose of  the short story "A Rose for Emily"?  

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William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily" is an allegory depicting the fall of the Old South and the subsequent rise of the New South. Throughout the short story, Emily Grierson lives an oppressed life under her father's rule and refuses to adapt to the perpetually changing atmosphere of the South's political and social environment. Following the death of her father, Emily remains secluded inside her aging home for some time until she begins to date Homer Barron, a Northern foreman. Shortly after meeting Homer, Emily suspiciously buys arsenic and remains isolated inside her home until she dies. At the end of the short story, the town of Jefferson enters Emily's home and makes the shocking discovery that she has been sleeping next to the skeleton of Homer Barron in an upstairs bedroom.

Faulkner's use of nonlinear narrative creates suspense throughout the short story, which depicts the fall of the Old South. Emily and her home symbolize the Old South and the newer generation of alderman asking Emily...

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