A Rose for Emily

William Faulkner

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Professor Bill Yarrow of Joliet Junior College explains the main characters in William Faulkner's short story A Rose for Emily.

A Rose for Emily | Characters

Character Description
Emily Grierson Miss Emily Grierson, often the subject of speculation and rumors in Jefferson, dies a spinster at age 74. Read More
Homer Barron Homer Barron is a Yankee day laborer who comes to Jefferson to oversee the construction of sidewalks. Read More
Baptist minister The Baptist minister speaks to Miss Emily regarding her conduct with Homer Barron.
Baptist minister's wife The Baptist minister's wife calls Miss Emily's cousins in Alabama to report Miss Emily's conduct.
Board of Aldermen The Board of Aldermen essentially run the city of Jefferson. The narrator presents them as one character with a hive mentality.
Cousins Miss Emily's two unnamed female cousins come from Alabama to speak with Miss Emily about her relationship with Homer Barron.
Druggist The druggist is intimidated into selling arsenic to Miss Emily.
Mr. Grierson Mr. Grierson, Miss Emily's father, prevents Miss Emily from being courted during her youth.
Narrator The unidentified narrator speaks in the collective voice of the townspeople.
Colonel Sartoris Colonel Sartoris is the former mayor of Jefferson who assured Miss Emily she wouldn't have to pay taxes after her father's death.
Judge Stevens Judge Stevens is the mayor of Jefferson after Colonel Sartoris.
Tobe Tobe is Miss Emily's longtime gardener/cook.
Townspeople The townspeople of Jefferson, Mississippi, function as a group, playing a role much like the chorus in ancient Greek theater. The narrator is their spokesperson.
Old Lady Wyatt Old Lady Wyatt, Emily's great-aunt, is remembered in Jefferson for "going crazy."
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