Student Question

How does Emily dismiss the aldermen in "A Rose for Emily"?

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In the first section of Faulkner's classic short story "A Rose for Emily," the newer generation of aldermen attempt to make Miss Emily pay her taxes. Following the death of Miss Emily's father decades earlier, Colonel Sartoris remitted Miss Emily's taxes out of courtesy and told her a fabricated story about how her father had loaned the town money. In order to pay her father back, the town chose to remit her taxes.

Despite Colonel Sartoris's arrangement, the newer generation of aldermen are determined to make Miss Emily pay her taxes. After sending her several notices, a deputation visits Miss Emily's home to formally address the issue. However, Miss Emily insists that she has no taxes in Jefferson and suggests that they speak to Colonel Sartoris about her arrangement. She refuses to recognize that Colonel Sartoris has been dead for over ten years. When the aldermen attempt to argue that there is nothing in their books about the arrangement, Miss Emily simply dismisses the men by saying,

See Colonel Sartoris ... I have no taxes in Jefferson. Tobe! ... Show these gentlemen out.

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