Which character faces a difficult choice?

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mstultz72 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"A Rose For Emily" is a strange story told in a series on non-linear and episodic flashbacks.  As such, there aren't any choices really to be made.  Emily's dead on the first page, before the story even starts.  Her story has happened in the past.  It's just now that the unnamed narrators are discovering her morbid secret life.

Earlier, I guess that Emily faces some difficult choices with her father.  Her father chases away her potential suitors, so no one wants to marry her.  As you know, the worst thing to be called in the South is an "Old Maid."  And then her father dies, and she doesn't want to give up his corpse.  If the town hadn't demanded the body, Emily would have taken him to bed too.  This all shows that Emily is quite mad.  Do crazy people make difficult decisions?

Her difficult choice, then, is whether to marry at all.  Can she survive the rumors and gossip and shame of living as a penniless spinster?  Instead of marrying, per se, she decides to murder a man (Homer) right after she marries him.  This will fulfill both of her needs, allowing her to live in peace and replace her father's corpse.

Is it a difficult decision to sleep with a corpse?  When it smells, you bet.  But after that, I suppose, it gets easier.

lfawley eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The servant definitely faces a difficult choice. It is evident from the fact that he exits quickly as soon as the towns folk arrive that he does not want to be around when the corpse is discovered. However, it is equally evident that he must have known about it all along. There is no way that he could not have known about it. The question becomes one of why he decided to keep Miss Emily's secret. Was it because of his status as a servant - his ingrained belief that servants should do as they are told and ask no questions? Or, is it possible that he cared about Miss Emily and in some way sympathized with her and for that reason maintained her secret?

mkcapen1 | Student

In the short story "A Rose for Emily," I believe that her servant faces some difficult decisions.  He stays with her long after she has become poor.  He is also the only one who has ever been in the home in years.

At the end of the story when the people go into the house he leaves.  One could ascertain that he must have smelled something from her room all those years and suspected that she may have done Homer in.  In addition, because he stayed there as if he will a watch tower through the year there had to have been many things he had seen and heard.


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A Rose for Emily

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