A Rose for Emily Questions and Answers
by William Faulkner

A Rose for Emily book cover
Start Your Free Trial

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

Expert Answers info

Lauren Willson, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseCollege Professor

bookM.A. from Radford University


calendarEducator since 2017

write1,502 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

Emily, the titular character of "A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner, is herself symbolic of resistance to change. She's unable to accept change in her life, and she goes to extremes to keep everything around her the same.

Emily is in love with a man named Homer who doesn't want to marry her. The entire town scrutinizes their relationship and expects them to get married—especially when she orders men's items with his monogram. What they don't know is that Homer wasn't going to stay with her. She's unwilling to let that change take place, so she kills him and leaves his body in her bed. Emily sleeps next to it every night until she dies decades later. 

The narrator says that Miss Emily was a "fallen monument" to her local community. One of the reasons for this is that she's a relic of the past. Time changes the community around her and she's...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 471 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Kitty Sharp eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2010

write1,509 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

check Approved by eNotes Editorial


shilpamini | Student

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.