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A Rose for Emily

By Robert-Works Apr 22, 2015 1078 Words
Name: Robert Works
Date: 2/13/15
Teacher: Mrs. Sara Smith
Class: English Comp II
A Readers Interruption of “A Rose for Emily”
In the short story, “A Rose for Emily” we are presented with a unique narration method by William Faulkner. old lady who is rejected by society. We learn about the main character Miss. Emily through a collective point of view from many sources. Throughout the story the each narrator only has a partial point of view which tends to lead the reader into feeling that the entire story is narrated by various people in town. The prime example showing a collaborated narration is seen in the use of such words as “we”, “our”, and “they” when describing a feeling associated with Miss. Emily. During the entire story we are narrated by someone whether it be a single man or woman, but they are never shown as having a main character part nor do they have any direct impact on the story that is being told about Miss. Emily and her life. William Faulkner sets the mood that our main character is a part of the town, yet uses a collective narration to allow the reader to better see the isolation and separation that Miss. Emily has not only from the townspeople, refusal to change with the times, but from reality itself.

One of the other tools that William Faulkner used to show multiple narration point of views was by using symbolism and metaphor's to help describe Miss. Emily to the readers. One of the most memorable metaphor's used was when she was referred to as a “fallen monument”, this was in part due to the comparison that it was portraying between her and her father's house and her status that was provided through the “old southern ways”. The relation between her and the house refers to when Miss Emily was younger her father was always there, her protected her, and provided everything for her. She was a very well kept southern woman, but as time moved on and she aged and lost touch with reality her age started to show more. Where as with the house her father built, in the earlier years it was a very well kept home that was clean and a pillar of all the houses on the street, but over time and lack of care it started to become

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deteriorated.
As we continue to read on we learn of another character, or suitor if you will and was Miss. Emily's last chance for love, but felt that her family “held themselves a little too high.” This critique of the family was generally lessened by the narrator in various ways. The narrator's were never judgmental of Miss Emily, and finds other ways to explain the nuisances of the family. Our narrator's also did this with the information that he provided to help us understand how she was viewed upon by the rest of the members in the town. We learn how Miss. Emily's seclusion from the rest of the town was her fault due to her aristocratic views on her life from her upbringing, yet everything is explained by the narrator from a non-partial point of view.

There are also several arts of this story where the narrator's appear to feel sorry for Miss. Emily. Some of those examples are when she refused to bury her father after he passed away. This was one of the major events that helped lead her to disconnect from reality. She cut her hair to try to appear younger during the time that her father was still alive. Then Homer appeared in the story, this is when one of the transitions happen going from one narrator to another narrator. This was presented from the townspeople point of view and they appear to be “glad” for Miss. Emily and that there is a possible love interest. We go on to read about how that point of view changed due to Homer being from a northerner and they couldn't understand how a Southern woman would lower herself “as to forget her nobleness oblige.” We also read about our narrator starts admiring her due to her aristocratic mentality and dislike for such things as paying her property taxes or associating with people she deemed beneath her status.

The narrator did show a change in attitude for Miss. Emily when the townspeople started to think that she was having an affair with Homer and states that she “carried her head high enough, even when we believed that she was fallen.” This was the narrator's way of acknowledging the way she stood up to the rumors and disdain with great dignity. We read how she did this with every manner of her life. Another example was when she asked the druggist for some poison. It was explained that she did it in the same manner in which she dismissed the alderman in the meeting about

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the taxes. When she was challenged by the druggist about what she was going to use the poison for she glared back at him with “her head tilted back”, this was due to the fact in Southern culture it is considered offensive to ask about anyone's intent and was an intrusion into their privacy. We later learn that the poison was sent to her house and labeled “for rats.” This is when the narrator describes the concern of people in town that she will take the poison to commit suicide.

The narrator's knowledge of Miss. Emily is very extensive, but I feel that William Faulkner decided to limit the amount of information that the narrator was able to give. This helped create the feeling of mystery in the story which helped captivate the readers. It really wasn't until the end of the story we learned that we were reading about her only after she had passed away, which helped add more feelings and intrigue to the story. The narrator never explained what Miss. Emily was thinking or feeling which allowed us to be able to draw our own conclusions. William Faulkner use of an ominous narrator was critical is explaining the separation of aristocratic family's in the southern culture and displayed the self isolation that was very common during the time frame of this story.

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Works Cited
Faulkner, William, and M. Thomas Inge. A Rose for Emily,. Columbus, Ohio: Merrill, 1970. Print.

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