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A Rose for Emily Short Summary for Readers

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A Rose for Emily is a story by renowned author William Faulkner. It was published in 1930. The narration begins at the funeral of Emily Grierson. The people that live in the town see her funeral as a responsibility they have to attend to. After that, the story follows a non-linear pattern as the narrator recounts the memories of Emily.

The family from where Emily hails was once the rulers. However, they encounter hard times after the civil war. After the war ends, Emily with her father continues with their normal lives. The father refuses she should not marry. She is left in a state of shock and devastation when her father dies and leaves her alone at the age of 30. Emily declines to bury him. This is an act that the community casually dismisses as it as an eccentric process of grieving.

After Emily recovers, she befriends a man by the name Homer Barron who came to the town after the death of her father. That leaves the town people surprised. However, Homer prefers to stay a bachelor for life. The townspeople view the act of Emily purchasing arsenic as a decision to commit suicide because of what Homer said. The people of the town bring Emily’s cousins to take care of her because she can do something bad to herself. After that, Homer leaves. He mysteriously disappears without a trace. The events do not affect Emily as she continues living normally

Soon, the foul smell begins coming from Emily’s house. As people always did, they tackle the distant problem. At night, men spread lime around Emily’s house to remove the smell. The mayor of the town excludes Emily from taxes payment. The act is to make things easier for her after her father died. The community continues to tolerate her years later taking her as their obligation. Therefore, she still does not pay the taxes even after new people assume leadership of the town.

Emily’s funeral which is at the end of the story is a serious event. Many people come to view the body of the legendary recluse. After her funeral, few people decide to assess the state of what is left of her house. When they open her bedroom door, they find the gifts she purchased for Homer. There is also a dead body of Homer which has now decomposed.

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