6th Period AP English
20 October 2010
“A Rose for Emily” – Plot Analysis
William Faulkner’s story, A Rose for Emily consists of a non-linear plot that impacts the story by making the judgments and perceptions of the townsfolk authentic realistic.
Faulkner’s presentation of the story and the plot structure amplifies the interpersonal conflict between Emily and society. The story begins with the narrator recapping the life of Miss Emily as the townspeople prepare to attend the funeral at Emily’s house. Presenting this in such a way, as well as the overall non-chronological order of the plot sequence, has an impact by showing how the perceptions of Miss Emily were not static, but in fact dynamic ideas that changed over the course of time. The use of a non-linear plot also maintains the interest of the reader throughout the story by keeping them confused on what’s going on and how to feel.
The narrator is also affected by this unique ordering of the plot. Faulkner’s choice of sequence and structure gives life to the narrator. The reader feels as if they are part of the events rather than simply being told about it. Faulkner is also able to give the narrator the voice of a townsperson. This allows the reader to get the full sense of the judgments and perceptions of the townsfolk; it enables you to almost adopt them as your own.
Faulkner’s story, A Rose for Emily is greatly impacted by its non-linear plot structure. It adds an element of mystery that complicates the plot while also keeping it engaging and interesting.