What I know and want to know about A Rose for Emily

What do you want to know more about when reading “A Rose for Emily”?

While reading A Rose for Emily I wanted to know why the author started off the story by saying that Miss Emily Grierson died. This way of starting the story off in my point of view is to set up for the rest of the story. It’s like a preview to what will come later. The author tells us that she dies and then starts to tell us about Miss Emily Grierson.

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 1894 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.

Also I wanted to know more about what Miss Emily did as a occupation.


6 thoughts on “What I know and want to know about A Rose for Emily

  1. Mahnoor Sheikh

    I do think that your question is important, about what Emily did to earn all of her money. Since this story takes place in the South in a time where it was rare for women to be property owners and when slavery was still prevalent. I would assume that Emily’s family was wealthy and then upon their passing she inherited everything. I also agree that by not having the events in the story unfold chronologically the author sets up the rest of the story, wondering how Emily died, and it could either create or destroy any emotional connection to her character because of her predetermined fate.

  2. Jody R. Rosen

    Justin and Manu raise some important points that we can discuss in class.

    One is about when the story takes place. The whole story, from the earliest point told in flashback, is after slavery has ended in the US. We can spend some time reading through to see what makes us think it’s earlier or later than it is.

    That Faulkner begins this story with Emily having already died alters time in the story. Rather than moving through the story chronologically, the actions of the story are DEATH –> FUNERAL –> NEIGHBORS COME INSIDE HER HOME, with everything else taking place in the past. So the span of the present in the story is quite short, and the rest recollected in the past. The death frames the story, rather than saving it for the ending. We as readers know that the rest of the story will tell us what we need to know about this person who has died. We could say that the funeral frames the story.

    About how Emily made money: she doesn’t. She also doesn’t pay taxes. It’s not clear she pays Tobe. We can discuss further in class.

  3. Linh Ngo

    I also have notice that the point that the author started the story by informing the readers that Emily Grierson died. It is in my opinion a way that the author is trying to make the reader more drawn to the mystery of how she die, and the reason behind everything. Is a way to excite the readers and give them a sense of feel that there is more to the story, but at the same time letting the reader know ahead.

  4. Madycyn

    i Agree i want to know why and how emily paid for everything she had also why did the colonel have such a soft spot for emily. Did others ever even met emily for them to judge and be so curious about her. Also who was this mystery man that she killed and where did he come from? also did she ever love him.

  5. Muhammad Qasim

    I also agree, the first sentence of the story does create a lot of suspense. However, I wonder why Miss Emily killed Homer Barron. Wasn’t she interested in him? The author states, “…he liked men, and it was known that he drank with the younger men in the Elks’ Club.” This shows that Miss Emily may have been jealous since Homer liked men. I think that she killed Homer because she loved him and probably wanted to keep his body by her side forever.

    1. Jody R. Rosen

      The “he liked men” statement is one we can think more carefully about. What is the narrator telling us? That Homer doesn’t want to get married, but should we think more about that, think that it implies a sexual preference, or that he doesn’t want to be married? How can these inform our understanding of what happened to motivate Emily to poison him?


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