Tribhuvan University
Central Department of English
Kritipur, Kathmandu

Term Paper
ENGL551 Introduction to Literature and Literary Analysis

Dipesh Kuwar
Roll No: 181
Section: ‘E\'
28 th June, 2016

Falling Aristocracy in the Story "A Rose for Emily"
This research paper has attempt to sketch the condition of South of America after the Civil War (1861-1865), especially of the aristocrats in the story "A Rose for Emily" (1930) by William Faulkner (1897-1962).The story was written after the civil war picturing the bitter condition of the aristocratic families and their falling values in South. The main reason behind the breakthrough of American Civil War, according to Wikipedia was:
" Members of the South Carolina legislature had previously sworn to secede from the Union if Lincoln was elected, and the state declared its secession on December 20, 1860. In January and February, six other cotton states of the ‘Deep South\' followed suit: Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas. The other eight slave states postponed a decision, but the seven formed a new government in Montgomery, Alabama 9."
And the American Civil War began from 1861 between Southern Confederacy and Northern Union which last for more four years and end in 1865 after the Confederacy army surrendered. The American Civil War proves itself one of the most horrible, bitter and worst war ever America fought with any other country. Though the weapons were not much destructive, the human force themselves tend to be destructive even more which end taking 625,000 lives of white, native and black who were all Americans. William Faulkner, keeping this Civil War as a background of the story, develops the story in Post-Civil War phase when people in South suffered, especially white and aristocratic families due to the migration towards the North and freedom given to the black who no more worked in their endless fields of cotton and sugar. As a result they turned into barren and bushy. Slowly and gradually this reason pushed whites and aristocrats one more step down to the poverty who were used to with the slavery system and the system of being ruler upon the black and Native Americans. "Modern America is not too much to say, Developed in a single generation from the civil war to 1900…Middle States and southern- were being submerged in a nation-wide, rising tide of industrialism, which sifted the economic basis of our cultures from farms to factories, from rural to urban life 229." Though the reconstruction started from 1876, it could not touch the remote and Deep South which was decaying. According to the historians the condition of remote South was even worse than during war period.
"Throughout the South, fences were down, weeds had overrun the field, windows were broken, live stock has been disappeared. The assessed valuation of property declined from 30 to 60 percent in the decade after 1860. The Mobile, business was stagnant; Chattanooga and Nashville were ruined; and Atlanta\'s industrial sections were in ashes 39."
On the basis of this visual situation writer William Faulkner has presented the collapsed South for the old generation and start of the modernization for the new generation. Southern cities in 1865 according to the journalist "was a city of ruins, of desolations, of vacant houses, of widowed women, of rotten wharves, of deserted warehouses, a weed wild gardens of miles of grass grown street, of acres of pitiful and voiceful bareness". And these all conditions are presented in the story ‘A Rose for Emily\' in silent background of the main/ protagonist character ‘Emily\'. Ed. Robert DiYanni in his review mentions "the full story by William Faulkner. Tells the story about Miss Emily from an omniscient point of view in different section."79 Faulkner has not introduced the narrator. As it is been narrated from third person view it resembles the society of the current time expressing the attitude towards falling aristocracy. We can find the word ‘fallen\' in the story, being repeated for describing the character and the old house, like; ‘fallen monument\' (in first section), and ‘we believe she was fallen\' (in the third section). This resembles the condition of the American aristocratic values and their historical legacy being poor. When Mr. Grierson dies, people think the old generation finished.