Friday, October 18, 2019

William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1250 words

William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily - Essay Example Although the story begins with Emily's death, enough information is given to track the course of her life. As a young teenager, she lived with a very strict father, who chased away all her boyfriends. When he died, Emily was already past 30 and still single, meaning he was all she had. She didn't want to release his body for burial, but the town forced her to and she went into depression for a long time. What brought her out of the depression was meeting and dating a Northerner, Homer Barron, who was a manager of a work crew installing sidewalks. The town didn't approve of the match, because he was far below Miss Emily's social status, and they tried to break up the couple. Emily bought a large amount of arsenic this time and would not explain what she needed it for, but the town decided to believe it was for rats. Since they couldn't break up the couple, the town wrote to Miss Emily's cousins who came for a visit, effectively chasing Homer away. When the cousins left, Homer returned at least once, but the town thought he and Emily must have had a fight because they never saw Homer again. She refused to pay her property taxes and she ignored the town's complaints about a bad odor that was coming from the house for a while, but apart from town girls whom she taught china painting, no one was ever invited in. After Miss Emily died, the town discovered Homer's body in an upstairs bedroom, lying on a bed with one of Miss Emily's grey hairs on the pillow beside it. Part 2: Setting, Atmosphere, Pattern/Structure, Point of View The setting of the story is an old crumbling mansion in the South, making the story officially a Southern gothic. Miss Emily's house was once a very fine house in a very respectable part of town, but the neighborhood and the house have deteriorated over the years and the town around it has continued to grow and change. Because of the change between the vibrant town and the crumbling mansion, the atmosphere of the story becomes eerie. There is a strong sense of strangeness as the younger generation attempts to understand the factors that influenced Miss Emily's life and her passionate adherence to the past. This atmosphere is created through constant references to the strange, old, and deteriorating elements, and the puzzled reactions of townspeople as they attempt to deal with Miss Emily. Although there is a clear story told that traces Miss Emily's life, it is not told in chronological order or even reverse chronological order. Instead, the story jumps back and forth in time, starting with Emily's death, then scrolling back to a time about 10 years earlier when Miss Emily refused to pay her taxes. This leads to recollections among the town members of another time when Miss Emily confounded the town elders to do something about the terrible smell coming from her house, but the town pitied her because she had just been jilted by the only man she had ever dated. This causes reflection to move even further back to the reason why Emily is still single and further puzzlement as to why Emily wouldn't allow the town to take away his body after her father died. Another memory is triggered, jumping forward again, to a time when Miss Emily bought a large amount of arsenic, and then moves back to talk about Miss Emily's dating Homer Barron and his disappearance with the arrival of Miss Emily's cousins (after the townspeople wrote to them about the unsuitable match). Finally, it jumps back to Miss Emily's death and the discoveries that took place after her funeral. This structure is meaningful to the work, because it contributes to the sense of strangeness and it reflects the town's shock as they slowly begin to piece the evidence together of what must have happened. The narrator of the story is

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