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An Analysis of William Faulkner’s A Rose for Emily


In William Faulkner’s A Rose for Emily, very first individual narrative is used in order to concentrate on Emily Grierson, a recluse who has actually caught the attention of the townspeople, and dictates the discussion, gossip, and action of the city. Faulkner utilizes a variety of literary characteristics in order to assist advance, communicate, and establish this story. The opening sentence of the story instantly lets the reader know that “Miss Emily Grierson died.” Most of the occasions that follow depict her earlier life, and are directed by the reader’s understanding of her death. This has a rather potent impact on the reader’s able to obtain the pieces of her life together through the non-chronological plan of the story. Through this, Faulkner does not take a straight technique in presenting the story, however rather manipulates time in order to spread out the story out through a number of years, therefore making this a story of advancement. The story is split into 5 sections, which are all a series of flashbacks. It is only after the beginning of the fifth area that the reader finds out that even the very first is a flashback. The effect of this is rather potent, since the reader is unable to comprehend what time period the story is being distinguished.

The inability to understand the particular time periods of each area is largely due in part to the storyteller. The seemingly biased narrator belongs to the very same town as Emily, considering them as one of the gossiping community members. Faulkner has the ability to convey this through the repeating of words such as “we” and “our.” Since of this, Faulkner is able to produce a character who is close to Emily Grierson, without dialogue. By using these keywords, the narrator has the ability to express their thoughts and opinions, along with those of the townspeople. A stray from this can be seen towards completion of area 5, when the storyteller starts to refer to the townspeople as “they,” in recommendation to “the violent breaking down of the door.” This attempt at disassociation shows that the narrator may not condone the actions of the townspeople, therefore providing insight to the viewpoints and mentality of the narrator. This subtle variation is quickly altered back to “we,” but works as an example to make evident that the narrator revealed some sort of care for Emily Grierson. The chatter that the narrator freely and actively takes part in plays a large role in the development of this story; the story itself is arguably informed through chatter. Evidenced through quotes such as evidenced through the quote “we thought it would be the very best thing.” In reference to the prospective suicide of Emily Grierson.

Characterization likewise plays a major role in the development of the story. 3 main people are characterized in this story. Emily Grierson is translucented the eyes of the narrator. All descriptions and truths about Miss. Grierson are one sided, and might not totally represent the actual character of Emily Grierson. The character of the storyteller is exposed from subtle hints laced in the story. Such as the switch in between the words “we” and “they.” Although it is simple to ignore, the townspeople are established through the referrals of the storyteller. Mostly impacted by words such as “we” and “they.”

Although this story is abundant in significance, the example that is most widespread is the symbolism of the rose. In reality, it is even in the title. In this, Emily Grierson is compared to a rose, full of thorns, and caught inside throughout the day to wither away. Not only physically, however emotionally also. It can be translucented the text that Miss. Grierson gradually begins to lose a grip on her peace of mind. Reaching to murder her spouse and sleep beside his body. This is evidenced when Faulkner writes that “we saw that in the 2nd pillow was the indentation of a head.” Through this, Faulkner is able to strongly compare Emily Grierson to a rose.

The background and setting of this story play a crucial role in the progression of the story. Utilization of words such as “negro” suggest that the story happens in the south. Faulkner’s use of this particular setting and period successfully give the reader background to the mentality of the characters of the story. This gives insight to the motivation, actions and mindset of the people residing in the town. It is rather obvious that the townspeople are interested with Miss Grierson, and hold her on some sort of pedestal. Although the servant is the only person in direct contact with Miss Grierson, others stay curious about her life and death. A lot so that they are willing to raid her home after hearing the news of her death. The townspeople are so inclined to be apart of her life that they take unique actions such as calling her cousins when Emily was considering marital relationship with Homer Barron. In this way, Faulkner is able to not only advance the characterization of the townsfolk, however also help demonstrating the effect that the setting and period have on the story.

In order to more progress the story, and construct a connection with the reader, Faulkner utilizes foreshadowing to mention the fact that Emily Grierson had actually been dealing with a dead male. The very first example of foreshadowing exists in part 2 of the story, when your home starts to take a monstrous smell “a short time after her sweetheart– the one our companied believe would marry her– had actually deserted her.” Foreshadowing of Homer Barron’s death is again seen in part 3, when Miss. Grierson purchases arsenic without offering a proper reason. This provides the reader with key insight to the development of the story, and assists to develop the morbid state of mind of the story.

The morbid and negative state of mind of this story is due mainly to the reality that this story deals with death, and the advancement of the story focuses on the death of Emily Grierson. Nevertheless, the true state of mind of the story is not revealed up until part five of the story, when the reader discovers the reality behind the disappearance of Homer Barron. The mood is mainly dark and morbid approximately this point, however after “the breaking down [of] the door” and reader discovers that “the guy himself lay in bed.” After this discovery, the state of mind starts to transgress into that of a more negative and tragic.

Among the major styles of this story is the failure of Emily Grierson to adjust and accept modification. It is evidenced through her unwillingness to pay taxes that Miss Grierson is stuck in the time duration that Colonel Sartoris supervises. This is also evidenced through her refusal to have a mail box when postal delivery is very first instituted. The storyteller broadens on this by making the claim “hence she passed from generation to generation.” Through this, Faulkner is able to potently communicate the degeneration of Miss Grierson.

With the concoction of all of these elements, William Faulkner has the ability to progress the story in a way that may not be sequential, but still manages to make logical sense. The effect that this has on the reader is quite strongly, and without these gadgets, Faulkner would not have actually had the ability to smoothly record the overall effect of this story.

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