Tobe

Display Name: 
Tobe
Sort Name: 
Tobe
Race: 
Black
Gender: 
Male
Class: 
Free Black
Rank: 
Secondary
Vitality: 
Alive
Occupation: 
Domestic Service
Specific Job: 
Manservant for Emily Grierson
Real?: 
No
Biography: 

The narrator describes Tobe as "an old man-servant - a combined gardener and cook" (119), and never refers to him except as "the Negro" or "the Negro man" (120, 122, etc.). The only time we here his name is when Emily calls him to her (121). He appears to have been in her employ since he was "young man" (122), and at least since the time her father died. Earlier drafts of "A Rose for Emily" include an extended conversation between him and Emily. His role in the published version of the story is entirely silent and elusive. When after Emily's death the town finally gets to enter the house through the front door, he "walks right . . . out the back and is not seen again" (119), though as the only other living occupant of the house for so many years he could presumably have added a lot to the story that the town discovers it wants to know.

Individual or Group: 
Individual
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Character