Essay On The Old South In William Faulkner's A Rose For Emily

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Throughout William Faulkner’s story “A Rose for Emily,” the main character Emily represents the Old South decaying over time. In the beginning of the story, the author showed how aspects of the town were decaying, serving as a metaphor: “...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,” (Faulkner 1). Emily’s house was a metaphor for the Old South, as its ideals and traditions were decaying along with her and her house. As Faulkner describes the town, the reader can understand the connection between Emily and her house, representing the customs of the Old South dying. Miss Emily and her house had been a tradition in the town, and that tradition stayed alive even when she died.…show more content…
Miss Emily was a duty of the town having lived there her whole life; when she died, the townspeople continued to care for her by attending her funeral. Miss Emily’s death represents the Old South. The Old South’s decay over time, yet still serving as a tradition of the past. As the story continues Faulkner takes the reader back in time to when Emily was still alive. By the end of Emily’s life, she had became nothing like her young self. In her younger days, Miss Emily had rode around town and was happy. Towards the end of her life, her actions drastically changed to her never leaving her house. “When we next saw Miss Emily, she had grown fat and her hair was turning grey. During the next few years it grew greyer and greyer until it attained an even pepper-and-salt iron gray when it ceased turning,” (Faulkner 4). As Emily grew old behind her closed door, her appearance shocked the townspeople when she finally emerged only to disappear into her home again. Emily had grown up with Old South beliefs and as her appearance changed, so did the customs that she used to live

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