Why would Faulkner write the story, "A Rose for Emily"? Did he want to compare the modern generation to the past generation? Is it about male domination? Is it about how we as human...

Why would Faulkner write the story, "A Rose for Emily"?

Did he want to compare the modern generation to the past generation? Is it about male domination? Is it about how we as human beings adapt to transition, but Emily tried to preserve it? What did Faulkner want to achieve from this short story?

Expert Answers
kwoo1213 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

All of the assertions you make could apply here, some more than others.  Faulkner was a regional writer who primarily wrote about the south and its culture (much of it negative).  The south, at times, lagged behind in advances in technology, etc., compared to the northern part of the country, so perhaps Faulkner wanted to point out the inability or unwillingness of the south to change (just like Miss Emily's unwillingness and inability to change).  He may have also wanted to simply write about an interesting character who is fascinatingly stubborn and unwilling to change the way she lives.  My inclination, though, is to believe that Faulkner wanted to make a point about the south or about the human condition.  The story is errily spooky, too, and is not told in chronological order, which makes for a fabulous mystery!  The story also has many gothic elements, including a mentally ill character, a spooky house, and mysterious characters (like Tobe, her servant, and Homer Barron, who the reader knows very little about).

linda-allen eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Like Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, Faulkner created his own world: the town of Jefferson, in Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi. Unlike those other writers, he did not populate it with supernatural beings or humans who have to perform great heroic deeds. Faulkner's people are real. They are so real that one critic declared Faulkner's writing to be "too often vicious, depraved, decadent, corrupt."

In "A Rose for Emily," Faulkner is almost gossiping about the weird old lady down the street. But we discover with the twist at the end of the story that it's really a parable, or a story that teaches a lesson, about resistance to change, about "love, death, community vs. individuality, and the nature of time."

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A Rose for Emily

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