A Rose for Emily: Gothic Murder Mystery

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Although the two share similarities, William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily" varies greatly from a typical gothic murder mystery. A typical gothic murder mystery immediately acknowledges a murder and it is then the reader's job to figure out who committed it. In "A Rose for Emily", the reader is not even aware of a murder until the end of the story; it is then the reader's job to figure out what actually went on in the story. Because it is not written in chronological order, like a typical gothic murder mystery, it keeps the reader in suspense until the end. "A Rose for Emily" is more a story of love and the insanity it can bring than it is a murder mystery.

The first aspect that sets "A Rose for Emily" apart from traditional gothic literature is that the story is narrated in first person plural. Traditional gothic literature is commonly written in first person singular primarily because the main thing the story needs is a narrator giving the clues to the murder. The point of view is significant because Faulkner narrates as if it were the whole town telling the story. Faulkner's gossiping tone makes the reader sense that the whole town knows what is going on but is only telling bits of information. This strategy helps achieve keeping the reader in suspense of the love and insanity solution, unlike having a chronological plot line.

Another significant aspect that Faulkner uses to elevate his story from a typical gothic murder mystery is the plotting technique. The entire story is out of chronological order. In traditional gothic literature, the story is written in chronological order to give clues to the reader in the order they happen for the reader to figure out the mystery as a result. This detail plays a significant role in the story because the reader does not know what happened and in what order until the very end. In addition, because the story is written out of order, there is a great deal of foreshadowing. For example, the story starts with...
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