How many years pass between "the smell" in section II and the deputation's visit in section I in "A Rose for Emily"?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

"A Rose for Emily" is really tricky because Faulkner tells the story out of order; it takes some very close reading, note-taking, and time-lining in order to figure out just exactly when things happened, and in what time-frame.  Fortunately, this answer is sitting right there, in the first sentence of section II.  It states, "So she vanquished them, horse and foot, just as she had vanquished their fathers thirty years before about the smell."  The tax men visited her, and she "vanquished" them; she kicked them out of her house, and refused to pay the taxes.  Faulkner states that this event occurred thirty years after the smell did.  So, thirty years earlier, when these taxmen were just little kids probably, the house had smelled, and the townsfolk had to, in the dark of night, spread lime around the house to get rid of the smell.

I hope that answers your question adequately; good luck!

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial