What would you consider as the "lesson" in William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily"?

Expert Answers
bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Several lessons can be learned from the events that unfold in William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily." Foremost is the need to grow and change with the times, something that Emily is never able to understand. Throughout the story, she stands defiantly as a symbol of the Old South and its unwillingness to accept modern change. Another lesson to be learned is that you cannot force love upon a man who is not willing to reciprocate. Emily's infatuation with Homer Barron does not receive the same response from the well-travelled Yankee construction foreman, who prefers the company of men and who has no apparent desire to settle down, at least with Miss Emily. Yet another lesson is found in Emily's haughty attitude toward her neighbors: She has no friends, and in her later years, she lives and dies alone. Her desire to maintain her aristocratic standing in the community--one that has long since disappeared as new generations appear in Jefferson--only distances herself from others, leaving her as a

... fallen monument... a sort of hereditary obligation upon the town. 

Read the study guide:
A Rose for Emily

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question