Historical Critic on A Rose for Emily

By: Coleman Richard, Sam Blizard,Ryan and Karis McElroy

      The short story "A Rose for Emily" was written in nineteen-thirty right as the depression was beginning. This is very important to how this story should be viewed and what Falkner was trying to convey in his writing. The stock market crashed in nineteen twenty-nine and the effects of this where felt all across the country especially the south. The south already struggled from a lack of industry and a large proportion of the population living in poverty, so when the market crashed these problems where only intensified. In the story "A Rose for Emily" the character of conversation is an old woman named Emily. Emily is meant to represent the South that existed before the Civil War. Following the Civil War and even today many believed that the South should return to that antebellum state where slavery was legal and everything was "good". By making Ms. Emily representative of the South Falkner is making a statement on those that want to return to the ways of the past. He is saying that those people are the ones that are causing them to stay in this depression they are in because they are not willing to change the way that the Southern economy functions. He is claiming that it is imperative that the South create a new identity for itself so that they can escape the poverty and suffering that they are facing. Ms. Emily is clearly a broken person just as the South was broken at the time. Ms. Emily is holding on to Homer, which is supposed to be representative of slavery, even though it is dead. This could possibly be a statement on segregation that was still around at the time and lasted until the seventies. Ms. Emily is still holding on to it even though it is gone and it is not coming back. This is the South and  Falkner is saying that if the South does not create a new identity then it will die just as Ms. Emily will die and the rest of the country, the town, will watch and not be able to do anything about it.

Shmoop Editorial Team. "The Great Depression Summary & Analysis." Shmoop.com. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 06 Mar. 2015.

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