Comparison between new and old south
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Comparison between new and old south
For the New South in comparison to the Old South, there are different symbols that recognize change and new development in the town of Jefferson. Homer Barron is one of the biggest symbols of the New South. After the Civil War took place, the northerners won the battle between them and the south about slavery. When the Northerners won the battle, the southerners became upset and didn’t want to change that idea of not having slavery, because they claimed that the plantations needed the help of the slaves especially in the cotton fields. So, when Homer Barron came to town to do construction, there was some significant changes to the old south.
First of all, when there is going to be any type of construction, there is definitely going to be a change or renovation. When it was time to pave the sidewalks, there is also significance that the paving of the sidewalks was also changing the ways of the old south. After the townsfolk saw Homer Barron and Miss Emily together, they thought that she was going against the ways of the old south which in the “olden days” would have put Miss Emily to shame because he (Homer Barron) was of a much lower class than she was. They said, “Of course a Grierson would not think seriously of a Northerner, a day laborer.” (Faulkner, 78)
The town was the New South because they constantly wanted change, and that is what they received. The new people that now have moved to Jefferson recently is now known as the new generation. The little town of Jefferson was given a new judge who presented new rules, a new group of aldermen that complained terribly to the judge about Miss Emily not paying her taxes and the horrible odor that was presiding at her house. Also, simple things in the little town like the new gas station down the street from Miss Emily’s house and the cotton gin that was up the road from her house were new. Although the town of Jefferson wanted change, they also admired the stubborn ways of Emily when she died. They seemed to look at her as a “monument” and everybody respected her in some form or fashion. At Miss Emily’s funeral, the townspeople claimed, “When Miss Emily Grierson died, our whole town went to her funeral: the men through a sort of respectful affection for a fallen monument, the women mostly out of curiosity to see the inside of her house, which no one save an old manservant- a combined gardener and cook- had been seen in the last ten years.” (Faulkner, 75)
In another part of the story, it says, “They held the funeral on the second day, with the town coming to look at Miss Emily beneath a mass of bought flowers, with the crayon face of her father musing profoundly above the bier and the ladies sibilant and macabre; and the very old men- some in their brushed Confederate uniforms- on the porch and the lawn, talking of Miss Emily as if she had been contemporary of theirs, believing that they had danced with her and courted her perhaps, confusing time with its mathematical progression, as the old do, to whom all the past is not a diminishing road but, instead, a huge meadow which no winter ever quite touches, divided from them now by the narrow bottle-neck of the most recent decade of years.
There seemed to be change all around her, but yet she wouldn’t change no matter what people said or thought about her. To Miss Emily, the old south had more of an effect on her than the new south. She was basically a rebellion to the new generation, and that was the way she liked it. No matter how the people of the town tried to change her, it was obvious that nothing was going to alternate her way of thinking. She was born in a certain society, and she intended on keeping her old southern traditions in the way she was raised.
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Emily Grierson, William Faulkner, A Rose for Emily
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