The Importance of Setting in a Rose for Emily

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May 16th 2011

The Importance of Setting in A Rose for Emily.

Setting often provides more then just a mere backdrop for the action in the story. It is probably the most important part of the putting together a story. In this story the setting is a reflection of the character as much as the town. The physical setting, time setting and cultural settings are all important parts of this short story,

Physical setting is to give the readers a sense of what the environment is for the story. The physical setting for A rose for Emily is important because it reflect the life of Emily, the main character. In this story the setting takes place in the southern town of Jefferson. Miss Emily Grierson lived in a house that had a “big squarish frame that had once been white, decorated with cupolas and spires and scrolled balconies.” A house so beautiful it was meant for some body of high stature. The house was so old that is “smelled of dust and disuse.”

The scenes in this story most take place in the town and in Miss Emily’s house. A great example of a physical setting is when Faulkner describes the town’s men sprinkling lime around her property to get rid of a bad smell. “As they re crossed the lawn, a window that had been darkness was lighted and Miss Emily sat in it, the light behind her, and her upright torso motionless as that of an idol.” It was almost like you were there with the men feeling the same creepy feeling, when seeing her in the window. Another great physical description of setting is when Faulkner describes Miss Emily’s death. “She dies in one of the downstairs rooms, in a heavy walnut bed with a curtain, her grey head propped on a pillow yellow and moldy with age and lack of sunlight.” Faulkner does a great job at leaving us with a powerful image of the physical.

Time period is an essential part to any story. It helps the reader to understand the language that is used and the way it was acceptable to live and dress. The time setting for...
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