Learning Questions: A Rose for Emily

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  • Topic: Time, Chronology, Past
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  • Published : December 10, 2012
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“A Rose for Emily”
By William Faulkner

Questions for Preparing:
1. How does Faulkner handle the time in his narration of the story? Please fill the following diagram with the given events according to the sequence of the text order. the disappearance of Homer Barron, the funeral, the problem of the smell, the death of the father, the purchase of the poison, the visitation of the two cousins, the reason for the two cousins’ visit, the purchase of man’s things, the visitation of the deputation about the taxes, teaching of china-painting, the death of Emily, the funeral (discovery of the corpse), Emily’s affair with Homer, The reason for the remission of Emily’s taxes, Emily’s refusal to let a mailbox fastened on her door.

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2. What is the significance of Faulkner’s way of handling time in the story? 3. What is the effect of the use of the pronoun “we” and “they” by the narrator? 4. What are the organizational patterns of the story?

5. What is the relation between the comic elements and the melancholy or shocking ingredients of the story? 6. What motives can you attribute to Emily for her killing of Homer Barron? How are these motives related to the themes? 7. What are the central themes?

8. What is the significance of the story?

Terms of narration:
Circuitous narration: the narration begins from the present and then goes back to the near present, and gradually further back to the remote past. From that point on, the narration follows a roughly chronological order, and then come to the present again. Analepsis: looking back at a past event.

Anachrony: the discrepancy between story-order and text-order Anachronism: dislocation or discrepancy of temporal/spatial order Fictional sequencing related to plot:
1) psychological sequencing:
2) chronological sequencing:;
3) presentational sequencing
Linear, sequential organization: awareness of a story in its sequential form. Configurational, spatial patterning: repression of time and sequence in...
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