A Chronology for "A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner

1. Emily born c. 1862-64

2. Mr. Grierson dies when Emily around 30, perhaps a little younger; Col. Sartoris revokes taxes 1894 (see paragraph 3)

3. Homer Barron arrives summer after Grierson=s death, 1895 or 1896; Emily is around 32 with hair cut short after long sickness when nobody saw her; then during next two years:

a. Weekly carriage rides with Barron

b. Minister's visit

c. Cousins sent for

d. Poison purchase ("She was over thirty then")

e. "Trousseau" purchase

f. Barron disappears two years after Grierson's death

g. "Smell" appears two years after Grierson's death

4. China painting lessons when about 40 and hair noticeably gray and within the next few years turns iron gray; lessons stop and Col. Sartoris dies twenty years later, c. 1915

5. Thirty years after smell and disappearance of Barron and 7 or 8 years after china painting lessons had ceased, aldermen visit to try to collect taxes; Emily at about 64, c. 1928, is grotesquely fat

6. 1938-40 Emily dies at age 74 (some 40 years since Barron's disappearance)


Thanks to Paul D. McGlynn, "The Chronology of 'A Rose for Emily,'" Studies in Short Fiction 6 (1969): 461-462.

Watkins, Floyd C. “The Structure of ‘A Rose for Emily,’” Modern Language Notes, Nov. 1954: 508-510.

D. Reiss August 1997