A Rose for Emily Themes

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Death is prevalent, both literally and figuratively, in "A Rose for Emily." Five actual deaths are discussed or mentioned in passing, and there are obvious references to death throughout the story. The story begins in section one with the narrator's recollections of Emily's funeral. He reminisces that it is Emily's father's death that prompts Colonel Sartoris to remit her taxes "into perpetuity." This leads to the story of the aldermen attempting to collect taxes from Emily. The narrator's description of Emily is that of a drowned woman: "She looked bloated, like a body long submerged in motionless water, and of that pallid hue." One of the reasons the aldermen are bold enough to try to collect Emily's taxes is that Colonel Sartoris has been dead for a decade. Of course, this doesn't discourage Emily—she expects the men to discuss the matter with him anyway. When the...

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This section contains 946 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the A Rose for Emily Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
A Rose for Emily from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.