Themes Tradition versus Change Through the mysterious figure of Emily Grierson, Faulkner conveys the struggle that comes from trying to maintain tradition in the face of widespread, radical change. Jefferson is at a crossroads, embracing a modern, more commercial future while still perched on the edge of the past, from the faded glory of the Grierson home to the town cemetery where anonymous Civil War soldiers have been laid to rest. Emily herself is a tradition, steadfastly staying the same over the years despite many changes in her community.
It was a big, squarish frame house that had once been white, decorated with cupolas and spires and scrolled balconies in the heavily lightsome style of the seventies, set on what had once been our most select street.
But garages and cotton gins had encroached and obliterated even the august names of that neighborhood; 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.
And now Miss Emily had gone to join the representatives of those august names where they lay in the cedar-bemused cemetery among the ranked and anonymous graves of Union and Confederate soldiers who fell at the battle of Jefferson.
Alive, Miss Emily had been a tradition, a duty, and a care; a sort of hereditary obligation upon the town, dating from that day in when Colonel Sartoris, the mayor--he who fathered the edict that no Negro woman should appear on the streets without an apron-remitted her taxes, the dispensation dating from the death of her father on into perpetuity.
Not that Miss Emily would have accepted charity. Colonel Sartoris invented an involved tale to the effect that Miss Emily's father had loaned money to the town, which the town, as a matter of business, preferred this way of repaying.
Only a man of Colonel Sartoris' generation and thought could have invented it, and only a woman could have believed it. When the next generation, with its more modern ideas, became mayors and aldermen, this arrangement created some little dissatisfaction. On the first of the year they mailed her a tax notice.
February came, and there was no reply. They wrote her a formal letter, asking her to call at the sheriff's office at her convenience. A week later the mayor wrote her himself, offering to call or to send his car for her, and received in reply a note on paper of an archaic shape, in a thin, flowing calligraphy in faded ink, to the effect that she no longer went out at all.
The tax notice was also enclosed, without comment. They called a special meeting of the Board of Aldermen. A deputation waited upon her, knocked at the door through which no visitor had passed since she ceased giving china-painting lessons eight or ten years earlier.
They were admitted by the old Negro into a dim hall from which a stairway mounted into still more shadow. It smelled of dust and disuse--a close, dank smell. The Negro led them into the parlor. It was furnished in heavy, leather-covered furniture. When the Negro opened the blinds of one window, they could see that the leather was cracked; and when they sat down, a faint dust rose sluggishly about their thighs, spinning with slow motes in the single sun-ray.
On a tarnished gilt easel before the fireplace stood a crayon portrait of Miss Emily's father. They rose when she entered--a small, fat woman in black, with a thin gold chain descending to her waist and vanishing into her belt, leaning on an ebony cane with a tarnished gold head.
Her skeleton was small and spare; perhaps that was why what would have been merely plumpness in another was obesity in her.
She looked bloated, like a body long submerged in motionless water, and of that pallid hue. Her eyes, lost in the fatty ridges of her face, looked like two small pieces of coal pressed into a lump of dough as they moved from one face to another while the visitors stated their errand.
She did not ask them to sit.
She just stood in the door and listened quietly until the spokesman came to a stumbling halt. Then they could hear the invisible watch ticking at the end of the gold chain. Her voice was dry and cold. Colonel Sartoris explained it to me. Perhaps one of you can gain access to the city records and satisfy yourselves.
We are the city authorities, Miss Emily. Didn't you get a notice from the sheriff, signed by him? I have no taxes in Jefferson.unit 5: the harlem renaissance and modernism Rose William Faulkner background “A Rose for Emily,” like the majority of Faulkner’s stories, takes place in the fictional Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi.
Published in , the story portrays social customs of the small-town South at the turn of the 20th century. Be warned that. A summary of Themes in William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of A Rose for Emily and what it means.
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A depiction of William Faulkner’s A Rose for Emily ENGL February William Faulkner’s fictional short story, “A Rose for Emily”, from The Collected Stories of William Faulkner (,) displays the daily struggles of a troubled woman named Emily Grierson.
Comparison of William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily and Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper Words Feb 20th, 3 Pages The main characters Emily Grierson, from William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily", and the narrator, from Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wall-Paper," are both in the same boat that many women were placed in the late ’s and the early ’s.
William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily" is a classic short story; while the plot can be summarized in just a few words, this will not capture the feeling of the selection. The story is told in five. A Rose for Emily A Rose for Emily Based on the short story by William Faulkner I When Miss Emily Grierson died, our whole town went to her funeral.
The men went out of a sort of affection for a fallen make about Miss Emily’s character from the incident with the arsenic?