What is a quote that embodies the theme of "A Rose for Emily"?

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The quotation you choose depends on which theme you decide to focus on. The eNotes study guide tells us that the themes of the story are death, the decline of the old south, and community vs. isolation. Try these:

For the theme of death:

Being left alone, and a pauper, she had become humanized. Now she too would know the old thrill and the old despair of a penny more or less.

For the decline of the old south:

It was a big, squarish frame house that had once been white, decorated with cupolas and spires and scrolled balconies in the heavily lightsome style of the seventies [1870s], set on what had once been our most select street. But garages and cotton gins and encroached and obliterated eventhe august names of that neighborhood; only Miss Emily 's house was left, lifting its stubborn and coquettish decay above the cotton wagons and the...

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