Setting

“A Rose for Emily” was published in 1930 and is set in Faulkner’s fictional town in the Southern of the US, Jefferson, in the years following the American Civil War. The action spans over more than 40 years covering important events in the life of the protagonist, Emily Grierson. 

Physical setting

While the larger physical setting is the town of Jefferson, the central physical setting is Emily’s house, which is depicted in various instances both from the outside and the inside: “It was a big, squarish frame house that had once been white, decorated with cupolas and spires and scrolled balconies in the heavily lightsome...

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Social setting

The social setting is equally important in the short story as the plot follows the society of the small town across generational changes, from the time of the nobility (big estate owners like the Grierson) to the development of a more industrial, common folk’s society: “But garages and cotton gins had encroached and obliterated even the august names of that neighborhood; only Miss Emily's house was left...”

The narrator marks changes from one leadership to the other. Mayor Sartoris who belonged to the old generation and had respect for aristocracy lifted the taxes Emily had to pay, under a pretext of her father lending money to the community. The younger generation, however, wanted for Emily to resume paying her taxes, just like everybody else.

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