25 A Rose for Emily Quotes to Unveil the Secrets of Emily

A Rose for Emily quotes are pretty popular among literature lovers, especially classic American literature. 

That’s why we have created a list of such quotes.

In addition to our quotes section, we discuss the story’s plot and themes.

So, without any further delay, let’s dive in!

Some words about “A Rose for Emily”

It’s a short story written by William Faulkner, an American author. 

This book was first published in 1930 and explored the life of Miss Emily Grierson.

She is a woman who lives in the fictional town of Jefferson, Mississippi. 

This story elaborates on different themes, including isolation, the effects of time on communities and individuals, and the changing South. 


There are five different sections of this story. 

Each of these sections explores a different character of Miss Emily’s life. 

The story starts with her funeral, which marks the curiosity among the people about her life. 

Suddenly the author takes readers to a flashback, depicting Emily’s childhood.

After the death of her father, Emily started to live in isolation.

After that, the story talks about her relationship with Homer Barron.

He was a Northerner who visited the town to work. 

The scandal of their relationship spreads throughout the town. 

The story ends once the corpse of Homer is discovered in Emily’s house.

This revealed the horrifying fact that she had killed Homer and kept his body in her home for years.


Here are the different themes depicted in this story. 

Some of them include the following:

  • Isolation
  • The Changing South
  • The Effects of Time


Due to her father’s death, Miss Emily started living an isolated life. 

This behavior was due to the overprotectiveness of her father.

In some ways, her own actions were also responsible for her isolation.

Her isolation finally led her towards madness.

The Changing South

The story is set in a time when the South was experiencing a change. 

This was the era when the old Southern aristocracy was giving power to the new one. 

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Hence, the South was becoming a more modern society. 

However, Miss Emily is considered a relic of the old South. 

Hence, the story also talks about her inability to embrace change.

The Effects of Time

The story also shows how time can affect the lives of individuals. 

Although the town around Miss Emily is changing, she still lives in the past. 

The themes of this story are also in line with Faulkner’s other works.

“A Rose for Emily” is often considered a commentary on the Southern aristocracy’s decline. 

Top 5 A Rose for Emily Quotes

These are the best ‘A Rose for Emily’ quotes you would like to read and share.   

1. “So the next day we all said, ‘She will kill herself.’” ― William Faulkner

2. “Not that Miss Emily would have accepted charity. ” ― William Faulkner

3. “When she got to be thirty and was still single, we were … vindicated.” ― William Faulkner

4. “She died in one of the downstairs rooms, in a heavy walnut bed with a curtain.” ― William Faulkner

5. “With nothing left, she would … cling to that which had robbed her, as people will.” ― William Faulkner

A Rose for Emily Quotes About Emily

These ‘A Rose for Emily’ quotes describe the enigmatic and tragic protagonist, Emily Grierson.

6. “When Miss Emily Grierson died, our whole town went to her funeral.” ― William Faulkner

7. “They waited until Miss Emily was decently in the ground before they opened it.” ― William Faulkner

8. “At last, they could pity Miss Emily. Being left alone, and a pauper, she had become humanized. ” ― William Faulkner

9. “Alive, Miss Emily had been a tradition, a duty, and a care; a sort of hereditary obligation upon the town . . .” ― William Faulkner

10. “Colonel Sartoris invented an involved tale to the effect that Miss Emily’s father had loaned money to the town, which the town, as a matter of business, preferred this way of repaying.” ― William Faulkner

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A Rose for Emily Quotes with Depth

These ‘A Rose for Emily’ quotes are deep.  

11. “Dammit, sir,” Judge Stevens said, “will you accuse a lady to her face of smelling bad?” ― William Faulkner

12. “After her father’s death, she went out very little; after her sweetheart went away, people hardly saw her at all.” ― William Faulkner

13. “The women mostly out of curiosity to see the inside of her house, which no one save an old man-servant – a combined gardener and cook – had seen in at least ten years.” ― William Faulkner

14. “She told them that her father was not dead. She did that for three days, with the ministers calling on her, and the doctors, trying to persuade her to let them dispose of the body. ” ― William Faulkner

15. “…a note on paper of an archaic shape, in thin, flowing calligraphy in faded ink, to the effect that she no longer went out. The tax notice was also enclosed, without comment…” ― William Faulkner

A Rose for Emily Quotes on the Legacy of the Griersons & Decline of Tradition

Explore the decline of tradition and the legacy of the Grierson family through these selected quotes from A Rose for Emily.

16. “It was another link between the gross, teeming world and the high and mighty Griersons.” ― William Faulkner

17. “Thus she passed from generation to generation —dear, inescapable, impervious, tranquil, and perverse.” ― William Faulkner

18. “When she opened the package at home, there was written on the box, under the skull and bones: ‘For rats.’” ― William Faulkner

19. “So [Miss Emily] vanquished them, horse and foot, just as she had vanquished their fathers thirty years before about the smell.” ― William Faulkner

20. “Then the newer generation became the backbone and the spirit of the town, and the painting pupils grew up and fell away and did not send their children to her with boxes of color and tedious brushes and pictures cut from the ladies’ magazines.” ― William Faulkner

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More “A Rose for Emily” Quotes

These ‘A Rose for Emily’ quotes will uncover some other aspects of Emily’s life.   

21. “She carried her head high enough—even when we believed that she was fallen. ” ― William Faulkner

22. “Only a man of Colonel Sartoris’ generation and thought could have invented it, and only a woman could have believed it.” ― William Faulkner

23. “From that time on, her front door remained closed, save for a period of six or seven years, when she was about forty, during which she gave lessons in china painting.” ― William Faulkner

24. “Then we noticed that in the second pillow was the indentation of a head. One of us lifted something from it, and leaning forward, that faint and invisible dust dry and acrid in the nostrils; we saw a long strand of iron-gray hair.” ― William Faulkner

25. “We did not say she was crazy then. We believed she had to do that. We remember all the young men her father had driven away, and we knew that with nothing left, she would have to cling to that which had robbed her, as people will.” ― William Faulkner

Which of these A Rose for Emily Quotes is your Favorite? 

“A Rose for Emily” is a classic in American literature. 

It is a true example of Southern Gothic literature. 

Hence, this short story gained much popularity quickly after its publication. 

As a result, A Rose for Emily quotes also became famous among the people. 

If you are one of them, you might have enjoyed reading through our A Rose for Emily quotes list.

Let us know if you have found your favorite A Rose for Emily quote.

For this purpose, you can make use of our comments section.

We are looking forward to your reply.

Norbert Juma is a Lifestyle Writer and Lead Editor at EverydayPower.com, where he ensures the publication of high-quality and inspiring content for our readers. With a BSC in Computer Science and expertise in WordPress, SEO, and social media marketing, he collaborates with our talented writers to make sure every article we publish is polished and engaging. Norbert's contributions to EverydayPower's vision of positivity and progress in digital media have earned him recognition as a thought leader in the industry.