Rose For Emily
The use of conflict, foreshadowing, and flashbacks throughout the story form the
plot along with its characters. The plot's stages can be traced throughout the
story. The start and end of the exposition, climax, and resolution can be
identified. There is also a protagonist and a few antagonists in this story. The
story is based on the life of a southern woman and the outcome of probably her
one and only relationship with a man. I will in the following paragraphs
illustrate the use of the previously mentioned tools in the story. The story
opens with the death of Miss Emily Grierson, the subject of the story. The fact
that the story begins in medias res or in the midst of the story is an example
of manipulation of the chronological order of the story (Kirszner and Mandell

65). This tool used by authors enhances the way a story is told. Another form of
manipulating the order of when events are exposed is through the use of
flashbacks. Faulkner relies on this to describe the events leading up to Emily's
death. Throughout the story the narrator goes back to different events to
introduce characters such as her father, her Negro servant, Homer Barron, and
the Board of Aldermen. An example of this would be when the narrator states,
"We did not even know she was sick; we had long since given up on getting
any information from the Negro." (86) Within these flashbacks, the author
inserts examples of foreshadowing. When an author uses foreshadowing they are
trying to give the reader an insight to the events about to unfold later on in
the story (68). Palomo 2 One example of this would be when the aldermen go to
visit Emily to serve her with a notice of the taxes she owes. The author writes,
"So she vanquished them, horse and foot, just as she had vanquished their
fathers thirty years before about the smell." ( 82) This statement was an
example of foreshadowing in that it evoked the reader to ask him/herself
"what smell?". The smell would be the rotting corpse of her dead lover

Homer Barron, which was revealed at the end of the story. The cause of his death
was also foreshadowed in the text. Emily had gone to the drugstore and asked for
arsenic. When the druggist informed her that by law he was obligated to ask her
the purpose for the arsenic, she looked at him "eye to eye, until he looked
away and got the arsenic and wrapped it up." (84) The use of flash backs
and foreshadowing by the author help him establish the storyline and introduce
the conflicts that the protagonist must face. The conflicts that Emily had with
some of the characters and herself shaped her in the eyes of the reader. Emily
was a woman that had been raised around the time of the Civil War in a prominent
family. This fact kept her from having a normal life. Her father never felt any
man was worthy of courting her. After he died, she searched for that happiness
she felt she deserved, but always maintained the noblesse oblige whenever in
public. The denial she exhibited at her father's passing was the same denial she
felt when she realized that Homer could one day leave her, too. The culmination
of her father's death and no big inheritance made her feel as if though her life
was spinning out of control. She could not bear the thought of being without

Homer and alone with nothing. This is why she killed him and still slept by him
all those years. His death created a conflict with her moral character, which is
why she became a recluse. Palomo 3 Aside from this struggle, Emily had now also
become an old lady surrounded by a new generation of towns people and leaders.

She had become kind of a burden to the town because of Colonel Sartoris' promise
to void her from paying taxes. The text alludes to this when it states,
"When the next generation, with its more modern ideas, became mayors and
alderman, this arrangement created some little dissatisfaction." (81) The
new generation saw Emily as a reminder of the older ways of life in that town.

All the conflicts that Miss Emily Grierson faced were what established her
character in the story. Emily is seen as the protagonist of the story. She is
the one that battles with her father's ruling hand and his death, her own
conscience about killing Homer, and the town's people