A contrast or discrepancy between what is said and what is meant or between what happens and what is expected to happen in life and in literature. In verbal irony, characters say the opposite of what they mean. In irony of circumstance or situation, the opposite of what is expected occurs. In dramatic irony, a character speaks in ignorance of a situation or event known to the audience or to the other characters. Flannery O'Connor's short stories employ all these forms of irony, as does Poe's "Cask of Amontillado."
He is a young gentleman from the north with a dark complexion, light-colored eyes and booming voice. He is masculine and they meet when he comes to town on work-related terms. He is gregarious and humorous and shortly after being in town he wins many admirers among them Emily. He takes her out on Sundays on few romantic escapades and shortly the townspeople start anticipating their wedding. However, the society view him as poor and scandalous choice for Emily who came from contrasting family background. In an unfortunate turn of events, he disappears after Emily’s cousins visit her and he is later discovered dead and decomposed in Emily’s house after her death.
Even before we see the forty-year-old corpse of Homer Barron rotting into the bed, the creepy house, and the creepy Miss Emily let us know that we are in the realm of horror or Gothic fiction. Combine that with a southern setting and we realize that it's not just Gothic, but Southern Gothic. The Southern Gothic genre focuses – sometimes subtly, sometimes overtly – on slavery, or the aftermath of slavery in the South. You can definitely see this in "A Rose for Emily."
Since author William Faulkner won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction twice (first in 1955 for A Fable , and then in 1963 for The Reivers ), and the Nobel Prize for Literature (1949) we'd also have to put it in the category of "Literary Fiction."
Even if Faulkner hadn't won all those prizes, we'd still put "A Rose for Emily" in this category. The story is masterfully told, and it's obvious that much care and skill went into it. It's also strikingly original and experimental in terms of form. This is part of what makes it a classic Modernist text. The Southern Gothic is a perfect field on which to perform a Modernist experiment. Modernist is all about what happens when everything you thought was true is revealed to be false, resulting in shattered identities. Modernism tries to make something constructive out of the pieces. We can see all that loud and clear in "A Rose for Emily."