What is the significance of the quote about Emily's father driving away young men in "A Rose For Emily"?

"We remembered all the young men her father had driven away, and we knew that with nothing left, she would have to cling to that which had robbed her"

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This quote from William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily" refers to Emily's single status and how her father turned down all potential suitors due to his belief that their family was higher class than they were. Emily is left only with her family's arrogance, and she dies poor and alone.

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The short story "A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner tells of Emily Grierson, a spinster living in the town of Jefferson, Mississippi, in the late-ninteenth and early-twentieth centuries. The story does not follow the chronological order of her life. It begins at her funeral and then skips backwards in flashback vignettes. It is told by an unnamed narrator who represents the common viewpoint of the people in the town. When he refers to "we" in the story, he alludes to the general town populace.

The sentence in question is at the end of part II. It follows an explanation of why she never got married and why the townspeople felt sorry for her. The narrator explains that the Grierson family "held themselves too high for what they really were." In other words, they thought that they were elite, upper-class people when they were really just like everyone else. As a result, "none of the young men were quite good enough for Miss Emily." Her father was overprotective of her, so that she was 30 years old and still unmarried when he died.

Emily inherited the house, but her father left her no money. That's why Colonel Sartoris had remitted her taxes. Because she was alone and poor, the townspeople pitied her.

"We remembered all the young men her father had driven away" refers to the paragraph above explaining that, in the eyes of her father, no suitors were good enough for Emily. That's why she was left alone after her father died. "Nothing left" refers to her financial situation and the fact that she was left without any money. "That which had robbed her" was the impression her family had that they were upper class. It robbed her because it deprived her of young men who might have made possible husbands because none of them were regarded as good enough. Because she had no husband and no money, she clung to the idea that she was a member of the upper class, and that's what motivated her behavior.

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Explain the meaning of the following quote and how it connects to the shocking ending of "A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner. "We believed she had to do that. We remembered all the young men her father had driven away, and we knew that with nothing left, she would have to cling to that which had robbed her, as people will."

This statement is made by the narrator in "A Rose for Emily" in connection to Emily's reaction to her father's death. In the preceding passage, the narrator explains that when Emily's father died and the town's women went to call on her, she wasn't wearing mourning and didn't look sad and denied that he was dead. The narrator goes on to say that three days later Emily finally broke down in grief and that the town representatives rushed off with the body to bury it. The narrator follows this explanation with the quote in question:

We did not say she was crazy then.  We believed she had to do that.  We remembered all the young men her father had driven away, and we knew that with nothing left, she would have to cling to that which had robbed her, as people will.

What the narrator is suggesting is that because Emily's father had been so sever with her and so unyielding to her desires and hopes, it was normal for her to cling to him since people react to oppressors with inexplicable devotion. The townspeople all knew what kind of overbearing and hostile father he had been and could understand Emily's extreme reaction to her father's death. As a result, they did not think she was crazy. The wording of this observation, "We did not say she was crazy then," implies another, later, occasion on which they did think she was crazy. This foreshadows--sets up the anticipation and mood of--the shocking ending that reveals that Emily must now be called crazy because the dead Homer, found in Emily's bedroom after hre own death, was a skeleton laying in her bed.

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