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A Reflection of Miss Emily in "a Rose for Emily"

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A Reflection of Miss Emily in "A Rose for Emily"

The story "A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner, takes place in the 1890's in an old decaying "eyesore" of a house in a southern town named Jefferson; known for being the home of many upper class families. The protagonist in the story is Miss Emily Grierson, the daughter of one of the most respected families in the town. Miss Emily is introduced as a young woman at the age of 30. As the story progresses, Miss Emily ages and dies at 74 in the 1930's. Miss Emily's character changes over the 40 year time period and the town begins to think she is crazy.

In the beginning when the Board of Alderman were sent to Miss Emily's to see about her and the payment of the taxes she owed to the town, she denied that she had taxes to pay. The authorities informed Miss Emily that the sheriff had sent her a notice of the taxes she owed yet she still claimed she had no taxes and that Colonel Sartoris, who had been deceased for nearly ten years, had dismissed her from paying them. Miss Emily had her servant show them out and she did not send them with any payment for her taxes.

When Miss Emily's father died, the ladies of the town wanted to show their respect and offer Miss Emily condolence and aid, but Miss Emily denied her father's death. She did this for three days until the doctors finally convinced her to let them dispose of the body. After the town found out Miss Emily's father left her only the house they lived in, they began to notice a disturbing smell coming from Miss Emily's. At first they figured the smell was only present because a man, Emily's servant Tobe, couldn't keep a kitchen clean. As the smell continued to get worse and was noticed by more people, the issue was taken up with the Judge who refused to tell a lady to her face that she smells bad. So, four townsmen went to Miss Emily's after midnight and sprayed her yard and outside of the buildings with lime to rid the smell. This is when the town started to feel bad for Miss Emily, however they didn't think she was crazy, they only figured it was mandatory for her to hold on to the only man she'd ever known.

The summer after her father's death Miss Emily found love with a young man named Homer Barron. The town began to think Miss Emily had "fallen," so when she bought rat poison they figured she would kill herself out of shame. Miss Emily did no such thing, but she and Homer Barron continued to be seen together around town so the town figured they would soon be married. Homer Barron left for a few days and when he came back the last time anyone had seen him he was walking into Miss Emily's.

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