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“A Rose for Emily”:
Commentary & Resources

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First published: April 30, 1930

Publication: Forum

Reprinted in: Revised for These 13, same version in Collected Stories

Notes: This was Faulkner’s first short story published in a national magazine.

Film versions: “A Rose for Emily” was adapted for film by Chubbuck Cinema Company. Producer and director: Lyndon Chubbuck; screenwriter, H. Kaye Dyal. Santa Monica, CA: Pyramid Film & Video, 1983.

One of the most frequently anthologized stories by Faulkner, “A Rose for Emily” is the remarkable story of Emily Grierson, an aging spinster in Jefferson, whose death and funeral drew the attention of the entire town, “the men through a sort of respectful affection for a fallen monument, the women mostly out of curiosity to see the inside of her house, which no one save an old manservant—a combined gardener and cook—had seen in at least ten years.” The unnamed narrator, which some critics have identified as “the town” or at least a representative voice from it, in a seemingly haphazard manner relates key moments in Emily’s life, including the death of her father and a brief fling with a Yankee road paver, Homer Barron. Beyond the literal level of Emily’s narrative, the story is sometimes regarded as symbolic of the changes in the South during the representative period.

Character List

  • Grierson, Miss Emily
  • Sartoris, Colonel
  • Stevens, Judge
  • Tobe
  • Wyatt (old lady)
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How to cite this page (MLA style):

Padgett, John B. “‘A Rose for Emily’: Commentary & Resources.” William Faulkner on the Web. 17 August 2006. 23 April 2014 <http://www.mcsr.olemiss.edu/~egjbp/faulkner/r_ss_roseforemily.html>.

This page was last modified on Thursday, August 17, 2006 at 03:20 PM CDT.
Copyright © 1995, 2006 John B. Padgett
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