Criticizing a Rose for Emily

Topics: Short story, William Faulkner, Fiction Pages: 3 (1257 words) Published: June 13, 2011
Criticizing “A Rose for Emily”
Although it is only six pages long , “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner has gained a lot of attention from critics. The story has been interpreted in numerous ways. Myself I consider the story to be very interesting as well as complex if you are a reader who tends to drift off in thought as I do. I consider the story to be a horror story in a way with a surprising twist. William Faulkner has written a lot of stories and out of the ones I have read this has to be the most interesting to me. The unnamed narrator of “A Rose for Emily” serves as the town’s collective voice. Critics have debated whether it is a man or woman; a former lover of Emily Grierson’s; the boy who remembers the sight of Mr. Grierson in the doorway, holding the whip; or the town gossip, spearheading the effort to break down the door at the end. It is possible, too, that the narrator is Emily’s former servant, To be—he would have known her intimately, perhaps including her secret. A few aspects of the story support this theory, such as the fact that the narrator often refers to Emily as “Miss Emily” and provides only one descriptive detail about the Colonel Sartoris, the mayor: the fact that he enforced a law requiring that black women wear aprons in public. In any case, the narrator hides behind the collective pronoun we. By using we, the narrator can attribute what might be his or her own thoughts and opinions to all of the townspeople, turning private ideas into commonly held beliefs. The narrator deepens the mystery of the story and of who he is and how much he knows at the end of the story, when the townspeople discover Homer’s body. The narrator confesses “Already weknew” that an upstairs bedroom had been sealed up. However, we never find out just how the narratorknows about the room. More important, at this point, for the first time in the story, the narrator uses the pronoun “they” instead of “we” to refer to the townspeople. First, he says, “Already...
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