What role does history play in the story of "A Rose for Emily"?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Civil War and the decline of Southern life and culture during the years that followed are two main historical facets in "A Rose for Emily." Jefferson is an old town, slow to change, and there are some people (like Miss Emily) who cling to the old ways in nearly all regards. The town is changing, however, whether everyone likes it or not, and Homer Barron is representative of that change. Like a modern day carpetbagger, Homer has arrived from the North to oversee the building of new sidewalks. He represents both modern change and a foreign presence to both the town and Miss Emily. The story, at least part of which takes place during the Great Depression, also describes how poverty can strike even the most illustrious families in Southern towns.