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"A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner - Tone, Diction, & POV

By xxnancyxxnancyxx Mar 13, 2006 352 Words
The tone in "A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner expresses a sense of curiosity and fear. The curiosity of the woman's life and the fear of the unknown is also established with the author's diction. The two tones even roll over to the point of view of the story (or point of views for this particular story). "A Rose for Emily" is based solely on the curiosity and fear that lingers in the community in which Old Miss Emily lives.

The tone and attitude of Faulkner's short piece illustrates the desire to know but the fear of what could be found. The citizens of Jefferson want to know the happenings of the reclusive MissEmily Grierson simply because she does not roam and gossip as they do since the absence of her husband. Although they have the need to pry into her private life, they are scared to face her directly simply because few people have even tried. The theme of curiosity is cognizant with these actions and the tone with which they are portrayed.

The theme is also carried throughout the story with the diction that William Faulkner chooses to use. He carefully crafts his work to present a want to expose the hidden life of the old woman. He gives her an awful appearance, a rude personality, and an unreasonable dissent to loneliness. His diction also proves the prying habits of others. Observers of Miss Emily always assume about her condition of life. The observers themselves represent the story in which the way it was depicted.

Curiosity and also a little bit of innocence is used very significantly with the point of view of a citizen that characterize the point of view of the entire community of Jefferson. "A Rose for Emily" is told by one person, but the 'we' used throughout the plot signifies the communal viewpoint that is shared. The eyes through which the story emerges is nothing more than the perspective of a spectator retelling the stories passed down about Miss Emily. The design of the story is based solely on the wonders of people and their curiosity of others.

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