For Emily

"A Rose for Emily" is the remarkable story of Emily Grierson, whose death
and funeral drew the attention of the entire town. The unnamed narrator, whom
some people consider as "the town" or at least a representative voice from
it, relates key moments in Emily’s life, including the death of her father and
her brief fling with a Yankee. Beyond the literal level of Emily’s narrative,
the story is sometimes regarded as symbolic changes in the South after the civil
war. Miss Emily\'s house symbols neglect in "A Rose for Emily". The
story’s opening with Miss Emily Grierson’s death and funeral foreshadows the
ending. The outcome is further emphasized by the symbolism of the decaying
house, which parallels Miss Emily\'s physical deterioration and demonstrates her
mental decline. Her life, like the decaying house, suffers from lack of genuine
love and care. The characteristics of Miss Emily\'s house, like her physical
appearance, are brought about by years of neglect. For example, the house is
located in what was once a prominent neighborhood that has deteriorated.

Originally white and decorated in "the heavily lightsome style" of an
earlier time, the house has become "an eyesore among eyesores".

Through lack of attention, the house has deteriorated from a beautiful estate,
to an ugly uninviting shack. Similarly, Miss Emily has also become an eyesore.

For example, she is first described as a "fallen monument" to suggest
her former grandeur and her later ugliness. Like the house, she has lost her
beauty. Once she had been a beautiful woman, who later became obese and bloated.

Both house and occupant have suffered the ravages of time and neglect. The
interior of the house also resembles Miss Emily\'s increasing degeneration and
the growing sense of sadness that accompanies such decay. Initially, all that
can be seen of the inside of the house is a dim hall where a staircase is
mounted into still more shadow, with the house smelling of dust and disuse. The
darkness and smell of the house connect with Miss Emily, like her voice that is
dry and cold as if it were dark and dusty from disuse like the house. The
similarity between the inside of the house and Miss Emily extends to the mantel,
with the portrait of her father and Miss Emily sitting there. Inside and out,
both the building and the body in which Miss Emily live are in a state of
deterioration like tarnished metal. Finally, the townspeople\'s descriptions of
both house and occupant reveal a common unattractive style. At one point the
house is described as stubborn, as if it were ignoring the surrounding decay.

Similarly, Miss Emily proudly overlooks the deterioration of her once-grand
residence. These lies continue as she denies her father\'s death, refuses to
discuss or pay taxes, ignores town gossip about her being a fallen woman, and
does not tell the druggist why she is purchasing arsenic. Both the house and

Miss Emily become traps for a representative of the twentieth century, which is

Homer Barron, laborer, outsider, and confirmed bachelor. Just as the house seems
to reject progress and updating, so does Miss Emily, until both of them become
decaying symbols of their dying generation. Through descriptions of the house
that resemble descriptions of Mss Emily Grierson, "A Rose for Emily"
emphasizes the way that beauty and elegance can become distorted through neglect
and lack of love. In this story, the house deteriorates for forty years until it
becomes ugly and Miss Emily’s physical and emotional condition deteriorates in
a similar manner.