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Rose For Emily
Thesis: As any reader can see, "A Rose for Emily" is one of the most
authentic short stories by Faulkner. His use of characterization, narration,
foreshadowing, and symbolism are four key factors to why Faulkner’s work is
idealistic to all readers. Introduction Short biographical description. William
Faulkner "A Rose for Emily" Characterization Emily as the protagonist. The
townspeople. Comparison to Mrs. Havisham. Narration Narrator as an observer.
Effects on story. Effects on reader. Point of View. Importance of narrator.
Foreshadowing Homer Barron. Mood. Effects of foreshadowing in story. Symbolism
Emily. "Rose" in title. Other characters in story. Conclusion The works of
William Faulkner have had positive effects on readers throughout his career.
Local legends and gossip trigger the main focus of his stories. Considering that
Faulkner grew up in Mississippi, he was very familiar with the ways of the
South. This award winning author has been praised by many critics for his
ability and unique style of writing. One of Faulkner’s most popular works,
which also was his first short story nationally published in 1930, "A Rose for
Emily" is one of the most authentic short stories by Faulkner (Pierce 849). By
writing about the political and social ways of the South, Faulkner was able to
create an illusion of the New south as being what we know today as mainstream
America. His use of characterization, narration, foreshadowing, and symbolism
are four key factors to why Faulkner’s work is idealistic to all readers. The
use of characterization in "A Rose for Emily" is clearly important to the
story. It is obvious to all readers that Miss Emily Grierson is the protagonist,
or the principal character. According to a prominent critic, Elizabeth Sabiston,
Emily is a gothic character (142). Sabiston is referring to Emily that way
because of the fact that she slept with the skeleton of her lover for forty
years. Miss Emily added a mystical tone the mood of the story due to her
incapability of being able to live in reality (Watson 180). She was awfully
stubborn to the townspeople. This stubbornness also ties in with Emily’s
ability to live in reality. After she refuses to Nichols 2 pay her taxes,
directly to the mayor, she tells them to go and see Colonel Satoris, who has
been dead for ten years. This portrays that Emily’s illusion of reality was
greatly distorted (Brooks and Warren 158). Arthur Voss, a notable critic
compares Miss Emily Grierson to the outstanding Mrs. Havisham of the famous
story by Dickens, "Great Expectations." Both are motivated by their lovers,
isolate themselves in old decaying houses, and refuse to recognize that time has
passed. Both characters are proud, disdainful, and independent (Voss 249). This
comparison shows the importance of characterization. Without these characters,
the story would be radically changed. By understanding Emily, the reader may get
a clearer view of the actions that go on during the story (West 149). Several
other characters in "A Rose for Emily" are set in opposition to Emily.
Faulkner’s use of characterization proves to be positive way to exemplify the
readers’ feelings about certain characters and the tribulations they
experience. Another prime example of Faulkner’s effective writing is his use
of narration. Of course, in most stories the narrator is a key asset. In " A
Rose for Emily" Faulkner uses the narrator not only as a story teller, but as
an observer from the crowd as well. The narrator’s point of view, which is
third person, had a positive effect on the way a reader views the story (Lee
47). Through out the story the narrator uses "we" instead of "I",
revealing to us the way the townspeople judge Emily. The narrator thinks back in
time throughout the story remembering particular events that occurred in past
time. Nichols 3 This is important to the reader in that it helps aid the
understanding of how the townspeople viewed Emily. The narrator also reveals to
the reader that there was once a very distorted view of ideas in the Old South.
After revealing these views, he confronts the fact that most of these views were
terribly wrong (Watson 180). If the story had been narrated by anyone else, it
may not have been as easy for the reader to completely understand. With this
spectator as the narrator, describing the events of the story through his eyes,
one can detect a general impression of Emily (Madden 1987). The view of the
narrator is beneficial in understanding the things that Emily goes through.
Also, towards the end of the story the narrator gives the reader a feeling of
sorrow and pity for
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Style, Point of view, Fiction, Narratology, Emily Grierson, William Faulkner, A Rose for Emily, Narration, Emily, Faulkner, Great Expectations
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