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A Rose for Emily. William Faulkner. About the Author. William Faulkner was born in New Albany, Mississippi, on September 25, 1897 Faulkner belonged to a once-wealthy family of former plantation owners He was a high school dropout

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a rose for emily

A Rose for Emily

William Faulkner

about the author
About the Author
  • William Faulkner was born in New Albany, Mississippi, on September 25, 1897
  • Faulkner belonged to a once-wealthy family of former plantation owners
  • He was a high school dropout
  • He later signed on with the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) to train as a pilot, but the war ended before he saw any combat.
Faulkner used pieces of his own life and family history in his fiction
  • His great-grandfather, William Clark Falkner, served as the inspiration for Colonel Sartoris
  • Faulkner based part of the character of Emily on a cousin, Mary Louise Neilson, who had married a Yankee street paver named Jack Barron
Faulkner published almost twenty novels, several volumes of short fiction, and two volumes of poetry.
  • He wrote many screenplays, essays, and articles for magazines and newspapers.
  • He won two Pulitzer Prizes, a National Book Award, and the Nobel Prize for Literature.
  • Faulkner died on July 6, 1962, the same day his great-grandfather, the Old Colonel, had been born on 137 years earlier.
what was the old south like
What was the Old South Like?
  • Before the Civil War, Southern society was composed of landed gentry, merchants, tenant farmers, and slaves.
  • The aristocratic men of this period had an unspoken code of chivalry, and women were the innocent, pure guardians of morality.
  • However, post-Civil War society in the South was radically different. At one time, the Grierson home was in one of the finest neighborhoods in Jefferson; by the time of Emily’s death, it was one of the most run-down.
The generation that follows is not swayed by the old Southern code of honor.
  • Emily’s china-painting lessons also show the change in Southern society. Her pupils are the daughters and granddaughters of Colonel Sartoris’ contemporaries. However, the narrator notes that “. . .the painting pupils grew up and fell away and did not send their children to her with boxes of color and tedious brushes and pictures cut from the ladies’ magazines.”
  • Finally, Emily’s dark secret might serve as a metaphor for the general decadence of the Old South
  • Death
  • The Decline of the Old South
  • Community vs. Isolation

Miss Emily

  • The main character
  • The story starts at her death, then loops back around and tells you her life, starting from the death of her father
  • Miss Emily is from a very wealthy southern family, and she is snobby and very proper

Homer Barron

  • A Yankee (Northerner) brought to town to fix the sidewalks.
  • His relationship with Miss Emily is not approved of because he has no intention of marrying her.
  • He is a typical man: loves to hang out with the guys and drink.

Colonel Sartoris

  • Emily’s father
  • After his death, Emily will not let the townspeople take his dead body from her home for three days.


  • Emily’s slave, who appears to have covered Emily’s secret