The Decline of Emily in William Faulkner’s A Rose for Emily Essay examples

The south went through major political and cultural changes after the Civil War as it became less agrarian and more industrialized. The previously insatiable need for slave labor to run the South was eventually lessened by the use of machinery making it more profitable to farm without an enslaved human workforce (Engle). Thus the entire way of life for both black and white southerners changed. However, the change in cultural norms seemed to be a slow progression. Faulkner symbolized the decline of the old ways in “A Rose for Emily” through the aging process of Emily Grierson and the relationship between Emily and her house servant, Tobe, which symbolize the depth of cultural norms and slowness of their change.

The main character in “A Rose for Emily” is a single woman living in her father’s home shortly after the Civil War.  The Grierson’s considered themselves of a higher social class; a belief rejected by the townspeople who “believed that the Grierson’s held themselves a little too high for what they really were” (518). Her father didn’t believe that there were any suitors in …

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