A Rose for Emily
Intrinsic to the development of both character and conflict, the setting of "A Rose for Emily" is Jefferson, the county seat of Faulkner's fictional kingdom that he named Yoknapatawpha county, a county in which Colonel Sartoris is an important figure.
The emancipation of slaves after the Civil War, the South was inundated by Northern opportunists, known as carpetbaggers. Against the Northerners who had no code of conduct, the newly-poor plantation owners retained their aristocratic arrogance. And, the code of chivalry of such men as Emily Grierson's father protected the women against encounters with men such as Homer Barron. This code of chivalry ...view middle of the document...
JUDGE STEVENS - A mayor of Jefferson. Eighty years old, Judge Stevens attempts to delicately handle the complaints about the smell emanating from the Grierson property.
MR. GRIERSON - Emily’s father. Mr. Grierson is a controlling, looming presence even in death, and the community clearly sees his lasting influence over Emily.
TOBE - Emily’s servant. Tobe, his voice supposedly rusty from lack of use, is the only lifeline that Emily has to the outside world. For years, he dutifully cares for her and tends to her needs. Eventually the townspeople stop grilling him for information about Emily. After Emily’s death, he walks out the back door and never returns.
COLONEL SARTORIS - A former mayor of Jefferson. Colonel Sartoris absolves Emily of any tax burden after the death of her father.
SUMMARY OF PLOT
I. EXPOSITION - Miss Emily Grierson died, the entire town attended her funeral in her home, which no stranger had entered for more than ten years.
II. INITIAL - Thirty years earlier, Emily’s father has just died, and she has been abandoned by the man whom the townsfolk believed Emily was to marry, the women of the town call on Emily to offer their condolences; meeting them at the door, Emily states that her father is not dead, and a charade that she keeps up for three days.
III. RISING ACTION – Emily had an affair with Homer Barron, thus, her reputation is further compromised, she goes to the drug store to purchase arsenic, a powerful poison but she is required by law to reveal how she will use the arsenic and she offers no explanation so the package arrives at her house labeled “For rats.”
IV. CLIMAX DENOUEMENT - Some of townspeople fear that Emily will use the poison to kill herself because her potential marriage to Homer seems increasingly unlikely, it was said that Homer enters the Grierson home one evening and then is never seen again.
V. RESOLUTION – After Emily’s death, the door to a sealed upstairs room that had not been opened in forty years is broken...