William Faulkner uses the same setting in many of his stories. Because his great-grandfather had been "the prototype of the Southern gentleman" (William 3), Faulkner typically writes about the Old South. In "A Rose for Emily," Faulkner writes about the period following Reconstruction and the attitudes that people had toward each other. The attitudes of the ladies are especially true-to-life. The ladies of the town are the antagonists in the story because they are meddlesome and jealous of Emily.
The women are constantly nosing in Emily's business. After her father dies, Emily stops going out in town for a while. The ladies try to call on her because they want to see what she is up to, but she sends them away. When they can not get into her house, they resort to watching her windows to see if they can get a glimpse of her. Not only are they nosy about what she is doing, but they are also nosy about her house.
It is an old house, one of the last ones that had not been "encroached and obliterated" (Faulkner 28) by the cotton gins and garages. it is sad that the only reason the ladies come to her funeral is to see the interior of her house. Nobody has been inside for years, and they want to unearth the secrets kept from them for so long.
The ladies are ecstatic when the tragedies of life catch up with Emily. They are very pleased when her father dies, because she becomes a pauper and is "humanized" (Faulkner 31). They always thought that her family "held themselves a little too high for what they really were"(Faulkner 31) and are happy that now Emily knows what it is like to be poor. Besides being jealous of her status...