Alderman, noun: a member of a municipal legislative body, especially of a municipal council.


We encountered this word multiple times while reading “A Rose for Emily.” The first time it appears is in the fourth paragraph of the first section, which details how the members of the new town government wanted Miss Emily to pay taxes in the town. Here’s an excerpt of the paragraph:

“When the next generation, with its more modern ideas, became mayors and aldermen, this arrangement created some little dissatisfaction. On the first of the year they mailed her a tax notice. February came, and there was no reply. They wrote her a formal letter, asking her to call at the sheriff’s office at her convenience. A week later the mayor wrote her himself, offering to call or to send his car for her, and received in reply a note on paper of an archaic shape, in a thin, flowing calligraphy in faded ink, to the effect that she no longer went out at all. The tax notice was also enclosed, without comment.”

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