In what ways is "A Rose for Emily" a story about resistance to change?  

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teachertaylor's profile pic

teachertaylor | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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In Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily," the main character Emily Grierson is stuck living in the past within the isolated reality that she has both been forced into and that she herself has created.  Early in the story, the local authorities go to Emily's house to talk to her about paying property taxes, and Emily refuses to pay, insisting that the mayor has relieved her from ever paying taxes again.  She is unaware that the mayor died ten years ago.  Similarly, when Homer Barron decides that he no longer wants to be in a relationship with her, she arguably kills him to make sure that he "stays" with her.  She cannot handle being abandoned by him and does not want this aspect of her life to change.  The resistance to change in the story is symbolized by the state of the Grierson house which stands unkempt among a neighborhood that has forged on into the present.

shilpamini's profile pic

shilpamini | College Teacher | (Level 1) eNoter

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Throughout the story, this resistance to change is clearly evident in her staying locked inside her home, not cleaning or changing the bed sheets or pillow covers after her heartbreak, but even before that, this fear of change is evident in her remaining single untill she meets Homer Baron. It was probably because she was afraid of change and not ready to accept any that she stayed alone and unfortunately her father too contributed to her tragedy by supporting her and encouraging her in her stubborn and haughty rejection of men.

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