In “A Rose for Emily”, the narrator begins the story by letting us know that Miss Emily Grierson has died and that she had not been seen in at least ten years. As the narrator continues to describe the house and it’s location as being located on, “which had once been our most select street,” is now encroached and obliterated by garages and cotton gins, it is undoubtedly obvious that the narrator’s goal was to depict Miss Emily Grierson as one who has been living in seclusion in avoidance of a seemingly changing world. The narrator later goes on to say, “only Miss Emily’s house was left, lifting its stubborn and coquettish decay above the cotton wagons and the gasoline pumps – an eyesore among eyesores.” I felt that this description of Miss Emily’s house as being one of stubborn decay was more so a description of Miss Emily herself than the house.
The narrator described Emily as having “had been a tradition, a duty, and a care; a sort of hereditary obligation upon the town,” that was remitted from her taxes dating from 1894 when Colonel Sartoris was mayor. However, as the rules of the modern times called for Miss Emily to pay her taxes, she refused. Emily’s lack of knowledge that the Colonel had passed ten years ago coupled with her resistance to abide by modern rules, lead me to believe that she was resistant to change and that Miss Emily felt a sense of entitlement.
As the story continues, Emily’s father dies and she refuses to admit that he is dead and was eventually forced to give up his body for burial. In the end, we find out that the corpse of Miss Emily’s lover was also found undisturbed after she had poisoned him in the belief that he was going to abandon her. The unwillingness to accept the death of her father and the actions of Miss Emily’s behavior leading to the shocking finding of her lover’s corpse all support Emily’s resistance to change, her sense of entitlement, and her need to feel in control of her immediate...
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