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Foreshadowing in "A Rose For Emily" by Willam Failkner

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Foreshadowing in "A Rose For Emily" by Willam Failkner

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  • December 11, 2002
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In the story "A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner, the use of foreshadowing is used truly conspicuously. To foreshadow is to provide advanced indications to a future event or discovery.. The extremely strong dank scent about Ms. Emily's house, the second floor of this residence being locked and the discovery of the iron grey hair, all are strong foreshadowing incidents that achieve this surprising and strong but also believable ending. Faulkner use of foreshadowing is used ingeniously to achieve a shocking and powerful yet certain ending

Ms. Emily lived in a white, square, seventies style house that is now rundown, un maintained, rotting and decaying. The inside of the house was said to smell like "dust and disuse - a close, dank smell." Yet the scent smelt by 3 different neighbors was stronger than this, the stench was so rotten that it traveled into neighboring homes. As one neighbor complained and described the smell she said "... they were not surprised when the smell developed. It was another link between the gross, teeming world and the high and mighty Griersons." Faulkner was trying to develop a scent so strong that it could only be that of a dead body. As Ms. Emily's husband, Homer Barron had gone unseen ever since they were married, it foreshadows to the discovery of his dead body in the house. The foreshadowing helps to bring certainty and believability to the ending of this story.

Ms. Emily was occasionally seen through windows in her home sometimes on the second floor and sometimes on the main floor. As Ms. Emily grew old she started only to be seen on the main floor of her house, not ever on the second. People who would watch the house said "...she had evidently shut up the top floor of the house..." Faulkner wanted to make the reader wonder why the second floor was locked and not used. What could Ms. Emily be trying to hide? This is a development in the foreshadowing of the scent in the house, as this foreshadows the discovery of Homer...