A Rose for Emily: New Historicism Review
"A Rose for Emily" is a short story written by renowned Mississippi-based writer and Nobel-prize laureate William Faulkner, that tells the tale of Ms. Emily Grierson's life through the eyes of someone who witnessed everything that happened in the town of Jefferson. Consequently, the events were not related in a chronological manner, but rather in the order the narrator recounted it and chose to tell it, making everything serve as clues to the story's conclusion, and in effect, making the story appear biased towards the narrator's thoughts about the events (Faulkner, William). William Faulkner grew up in Mississippi and traces his roots to an…show more content… Emily orders a men's toiletry set at the jewelers, and had bought a complete set of men's clothing. Her relatives from Alabama had already arrived, and the townspeople were now rooting for Ms. Emily and Homer to be together. Since the pavements were done, Homer left town for a while. The idea of requiring chaperones during courtship enforces the old-fashioned morals that served as the people's relationship compass, giving emphasis on being conservative and proper (Sansing, David C. et al.).
After Ms. Emily's relatives leave town, Homer was seen going into Ms. Emily's house, and that was the last time that he was seen. Ms. Emily was also not seen for some time, and the townspeople assumed that it was because Homer had left her. Since feminism wasn't something that was of importance during this time, she was stigmatized by the town as a lonely spinster (Shire, Emily).
During this time, the only sign of life in Ms. Emily's house was the negro manservant who did everything, and the townspeople, specially the women had attributed the bad smell to it. They are traditional people who followed the customs of women doing the house chores and men working outside the home, and to the townspeople it seemed logical that a man whose workplace is usually outside the house would have no idea on how to properly manage a kitchen. Because of this, reports were made to Judge Stevens about the smell coming from Ms. Emily's house, and after convening an Alderman meeting overnight, they had…show more content… Emily is seen, she had gotten fat and her hair had turned iron-gray. For six or seven years, she gave china-painting lessons to the townspeople's children, but due to the changing generations and their different ideas, there had been fewer and fewer pupils until she stopped giving the china-painting lessons altogether. This can be seen as similar to familiar technologies and knowhows that become outdated with the passage of time and better innovations, how people preferred doing things in the more efficient way thus rendering the old ways obsolete. There were many examples of this throughout the story. One instance of this is when the town got free postal service, and Ms. Emily refused both the mailbox and the house number. We can see that Ms. Emily seemed to be unable to keep up with the changing times and stubbornly clings to the way of life that she had been accustomed to despite the changes that were happening around