“A Rose for Emily”.
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As you answer the questions each person must individually record the following:
1. Which character is more isolated, Tobe or Miss Emily? What are the different reasons behind their isolations? Did they have a choice?
2. Does the town play a role in Miss Emily's isolation? If not, why not? If so, what are some of the things the town does to isolate her?
3. Does Emily's father play a role in her isolation (even though he is dead)? If so, what role does he play?
4. What are some other factors behind Miss Emily's isolation?
5. Besides Tobe, and Miss Emily, are there any other isolated characters described in the story? If so, which ones, and how are they isolated.
1. If this story is a memory, whose memory is it?
2. Does this memory work the way that your memory works? That is, do you remember your life and your history in a straight time line, or do you skip around back and forth?
3. Is Emily trapped by the past? If so, which elements of the past trap her? Does she try to escape the trap?
4. Can you think of any examples of where the past and the present are in conflict in the story? If not, how are the past and present working in sync.
1. How does the story comment on America? What are the positive comments being made? What are the negative ones?
2. Does the character of Tobe say something to us about America? If not, what might be the purpose of the character.
3. Does the novel say anything about the American dream? What might the American dream look like to some of the different characters?
1. Is Miss Emily insane or vengeful and mean? A little of both?
2. Emily can seem both very strong and very weak. How, if at all, do these two approaches to life impact her reality?
3. Is it important to the story that Miss Emily's great-aunt, old lady Wyatt, is considered insane by the townspeople? Why or why not?
4. Do you think Tobe has a clear view of reality? Is he insane for living in a house with a dead body, and protecting Miss Emily by not telling the authorities? If he's not insane, what might motivate him to act this way?
5. Do the different generations of Jefferson society presented have different versions of the reality of Miss Emily? If so, what are some of these versions?
1. Do the townspeople pity Emily? Is this pity the same thing as compassion? If so, how can pity and compassion the same?
2. Does the town treat Emily compassionately? Can you give any examples?
3. Would it have been more compassionate to leave Emily alone with her crime the way the town does in the story, or to let her be processed by the system?
4. If it is true that Emily murdered Homer Barron, can we still feel compassionate for her? Explain. Do you feel compassion for Homer?
5. Can we forgive Emily's father for what he did to her? Why or why not?
6. Is there anything shown in the short story that you find unforgivable? If so, what? If not, explain?