A Rose for Emily Questions and Answers
by William Faulkner

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Why did William Faulkner write the story "A Rose for Emily"?

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William Faulkner was born in Mississippi roughly thirty years after the end of the Civil War and died there in the early 1960s. Over the course of his literary career, he was deeply interested in observing the gradual evolution of the Old South to the modern. He created the fictional Yoknapatawpha County, which became the backdrop for his observation of the end of the Southern aristocracy that had begun in the colonial era. His own ancestors, particularly a great-grandfather, had been socially prominent in Mississippi, and Faulkner took inspiration from their reputation and legacy.

"A Rose for Emily," written in 1929, captures the decline and eventual demise of an aristocratic family whose last descendent, Emily Grierson , goes to extraordinary lengths to hold on to her family's social position and values. She stubbornly clings to an outdated agreement regarding her family's tax liability to the town, dresses in clothes from a bygone era, and ultimately chooses to secretly murder the...

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