A Rose for Emily Study Guide

A Rose for Emily Study Guide

Original title:
A Rose for Emily
January 1st 1970 by Merrill Publishing Company (first published November 1st 1930)
Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi (United States)
ISBN 0675093244 (ISBN13: 9780675093248)

“A Rose for Emily” is one of the most quotable and well-known works of William Faulkner. It is centered on author’s favorite topic – change, strangeness, openness, and flexibility. Even though some might find other meanings in it and they will be right.

Located in a fictional city, the story can be summarized as a gothic plot about courage and patience. The events happen in a used-to-be grand neighborhood that takes pride in its past. All the descriptions are soaked with melancholy and symbolism. The readers meet the heroine of the book, Emily Gierson, in two conditions, both of which are mingled in sentences placed next to each other.

We find out that she has been excused from paying taxes for decades now. The mayor who made that order is long dead now but new officials struggle to turn it around. There is something that we don’t know about this whole story and it’s serious.

It is a dark and somber plot mostly about Emily, an old lady living alone and dwelling in her past, and those who know her somehow. She is proud, reserved and stubborn. It’s hard to really get to know her. When the reader discovers her dark secret at the very last, he can’t help but wonder what kind of symbol this lady impersonates.

The author confronts his readers with an irrecoverable tragedy of one person, one woman. We can’t change the consequences of her tragedy, but can learn from it and acknowledge its existence. Just like a man acknowledges the existence of a woman with a flower, a rose.

Don’t try to look for explanations of the book title in the text. The author himself says that the title is an allegory. “A Rose for Emily” is worth Reading just for the fantasy facts mixed with a bit reserved British humor. You will love its intricate plot, carefully crafted words, and detailed characters. There are more than a hundred ways to interpret it - read the book to find yours.

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