7 September 2011
A Rose for Emily Analysis
Piecing Together the Puzzle:
Flashbacks and Foreshadowing in A Rose for Emily
William Faulkner incorporates flashbacks and foreshadowing into the plot of “A Rose for Emily,” to create an aura of suspense. Faulkner presents the life of the main character, Emily Grierson, in a seemingly disorganized manner, as the author wrote the events out of chronological order. The format of his story confuses the reader, and adds a level of mystery into the plot.
The story begins at the end of Emily’s life, her funeral. The narrator appears as a citizen of the town attending. He or she expresses how Miss Emily’s unpopularity doesn’t affect the turnout, “When Miss Emily Grierson died, our whole town went to her funeral: the men through a sort of respectful affection for a fallen monument, the women mostly out of curiosity to see the inside of her house, which no one save an old manservant—a combined gardener and cook- had seen in at least ten years” (Faulkner 1). The quote sets the story up for a flashback, as one immediately wonders about the mystery behind the interior of the house. In the next paragraph Faulkner depicts her home as following, “It was a big squarish frame house that had once been white, decorated with cupolas and spires and scrolled balconies in the heavily lightsome style of the seventies, set on what had once been our most select street.” (Faulkner 1). The author describes Miss Emily’s residence, as “decorated with cupolas and spires” (Faulkner 1), which installs in the reader’s mind a depiction of a luxurious property. Through the narrator’s thoughts, Faulkner expresses the magnificence of the house which stood twenty years ago, and then brings the reader back to present, by illustrating the house’s current outward appearance. The flashback allows the reader to gain a full understanding of the significant change which happened to Miss Emily during her transition from