A Rose for Emily: Faulkner's Plot Priority

Topics: Short story, Fiction, William Faulkner Pages: 4 (1439 words) Published: March 17, 2005
Faulkner's Plot Priority
In "A Rose For Emily", by William Faulkner, plot plays an important role in how

the story is played out. Faulkner does not use chronological order in this short story. Instead, he uses an order that has many twists and turns. It appears to have no relevance while being read, but in turn, plays an important role in how the story is interpreted by the reader. Why does Faulkner present the plot of this story in this manner? How does it affect the reader? What does the convoluted plot presentation do to this story? How might the story be different if the plot was presented in chronological order? These are a few questions that have come to my attention while reading this story. I would like to give my opinion on this backed by evidence from the story itself.

First, why does Faulkner present the plot in the way that he does? There can be numerous answers to this question, but I have narrowed it down to one simple answer. He presented the story in this way in order to keep the reader guessing and to also provide some sort of suspense. By Faulkner telling the story in the way that he does, the reader has no way of knowing what might be coming up next in the story. The last thing that a reader wants to do is read a boring story that is easy to predict. Faulkner keeps the reader from knowing what might happen next by not placing the events in the actual order that they occurred. He goes back and forth throughout Miss Emily's life. At the introduction and conclusion of the story, she is dead, while the body consists of the times when she was alive. The body of the story also jumps back and forth throughout Miss Emily's life. Faulkner brilliantly divided the story into five key parts, all taking place at some key period in her life. These parts are prime examples of how Faulkner jumps back and forth throughout Emily's lifetime. Part one begins with Emily's funeral while part two begins "thirty years before", "two years after her...
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