A Rose for Emily By William Faulkner This is the story of Miss Emily Grierson, born a lady in the South just around the time of the Civil War. The fact that she is considered a “lady” will have a significant affect on how she treats others and how others treat her. In your opinion, what does it mean to “be a lady”? What does it mean to be a “Lady”? •“Lady” – from it’s roots in British nobility, as the equivalent of “Lord” •Today’s equivalent of “Gentleman” •The term carries a connotation of elegance and class •Refined, polite woman •Woman of a high social position In the aftermath of slavery, the American South was in bad shape. The South was clinging to the ideals and values of the past. This story deals with the stubborn refusal of some southerners to see that the America they believed in – an America based on slavery – was no more. The story covers about 74 years, beginning sometime just before the Civil War. The focus, however, is on the periods from about 1894 to 1935. Because the dates are all jumbled together, we have to work to untangle the story’s present vision of America from the vision of the past. Setting • • • • Time: SCRAMBLED (1894-1935) Place: Southern town Social Circumstances: Post-Civil War Grierson estate: – “It was a big squarish frame house that had once been white, decorated with cupolas and spires, and scrolled balconies in the heavily lightsome style of the seventies, set on what had once been our most select street. But garages and cotton gins had encroached and obliterated even the august names of that neighborhood; only Miss Emily’s house was left, lifting its stubborn coquettish decay above the cotton wagons and the gasoline pumps – an eyesore among eyesores.” Through the course of the story, Miss Emily withdraws more and more into her home. She isolates herself from the outside world and alienates herself from everyone • Why do people push others away? • Have you ever pushed others away for some reason? Has anyone ever pushed you away? Explain. • What is the danger of alienating others? This is further complicated when Miss Emily finds herself in a desperate situation over the man she loves – her fiancé. What would you be willing to do to keep the person you love?