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Point of View Analysis of "A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner

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Point of View Analysis of "A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner

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  • November 2007
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In "A Rose for Emily" Faulkner begins the story with the death of Miss Emily Grierson, giving the reader the first glimpse into the main character of the story. In "A Rose for Emily" Faulkner creates an objective, yet complex point of view through the unknown narrator with his use of setting, events and characters to create a southern mood. By using an objective point of view an author turns the reader into a jury, so that the reader is able to interpret the story, and draw conclusions when given enough information.

Faulkner introduces his characters in a drawn out manner but yet is very detailed. Throughout the story the narrator uses various terms and conditions to describe and introduce the main characters. Emily Grierson, the main character in the story, is introduced in the third paragraph as "a tradition, a duty, and a care; a sort of hereditary obligation upon the town" (Faulkner 29). Homer Barron, Miss Emily's lover, is described as "a big, dark, ready man" (Faulkner 31). Tobe is mentioned throughout the story but not much is used to describe him other than "a doddering Negro man" (Faulkner 34). Faulkner begins setting the southern mood in the second paragraph when the narrator is describing the home as "an eyesore among eyesores" (Faulkner 29), what had become of it and the street on which it was built. He also describes the cemetery where Miss Emily is buried by describing the "anonymous graves of Union and Confederate soldiers who fell at the battle of Jefferson" (Faulkner 29). He goes on to describe the inside of the home in paragraph five as "smelled of dust and disuse – a close, dank smell" (Faulkner 29). All of these terms suggest neglect, decay, and atrocity: each of these elements ties together deeper themes upon which Faulkner builds throughout the story. At the end of the story the narrator tells of what is found in the room that had been closed for years. This is when we learn of Homer Barron's death and the gruesome fact that...