“A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner is a short story set in the early 20th century in the fictional town of Jefferson, Mississippi. The story chronicles the life of Emily Grierson, a reclusive aristocrat who is slowly driven mad by her isolation.
The story is told from the perspective of an anonymous narrator, and it is clear that the townspeople are gossiping about Emily and her strange behavior. The setting is integral to the story, as it helps to create an atmosphere of suspense and foreboding.
The story begins with the news of Emily’s death, and the townspeople are gathered at her funeral. It is clear that they are not there out of respect for Emily, but rather out of curiosity. The narrator describes the scene: “The men through a sort of respectful affection for a fallen monument, the women mostly out of curiosity to see the inside of her house, which no one save an old man-servant a combined gardener and cook had seen in at least ten years” (Faulkner 3).
The townspeople are nosy and gossip about Emily because she is different from them. She is from a wealthy family, while they are not. She is also a spinster, while most of the townspeople are married with children. In addition, Emily is very reclusive and rarely leaves her house.
The setting of the story helps to create an atmosphere of suspense and foreboding. The townspeople are nosy and gossip about Emily because she is different from them. She is from a wealthy family, while they are not. She is also a spinster, while most of the townspeople are married with children. In addition, Emily is very reclusive and rarely leaves her house. This all serves to make the reader wonder what secrets Emily may be hiding.
The story takes place in the early 20th century, before women had many rights. This is important to consider when thinking about Emily’s character. She is a woman who is not married and does not have any children. She lives alone in her home and is completely cut off from the outside world.
In “A Rose for Emily,” Faulkner employs the motif of time to build up elements of the setting and vice versa. By going against chronological order, Faulkner offers the reader a completed jigsaw puzzle before allowing him or her to examine each piece separately. He elaborates the narrative and shows two different ways of viewing time represented by the characters by doing so.
The first perspective is the traditional, linear view of time in which cause and effect are clearly related; the second is a more subjective view in which time is seen as cyclical, with events constantly repeating themselves.
The story opens with Miss Emily’s funeral, which is attended by the entire town. Faulkner then jumps back in time to when Miss Emily was a young girl, living with her father who isolated her from the outside world. The next section takes place after Mr. Grierson’s death, when Miss Emily refused to acknowledge his death for three days.
The following section occurs shortly before Homer Barron’s disappearance, when Miss Emily buys arsenic from the hardware store. And finally, the last section takes place after Homer Barron’s body has been found in Miss Emily’s bedroom, and she has been seen sleeping in a room with the corpse.
The use of time shifts allows Faulkner to present different aspects of Miss Emily’s character and her relationships with the other characters in the story. For example, we see Miss Emily as a young girl, living in a house that is slowly falling apart. Her father does not allow her to have any friends, and she is not allowed to leave the house. This isolation makes her dependent on her father and gives her a feeling of entitlement.
We also see Miss Emily after her father’s death, when she refuses to accept that he is gone. In this section, we see Miss Emily as a stubborn woman who is unwilling to let go of the past. And finally, we see Miss Emily after Homer Barron’s body has been found in her bedroom. In this section, we see Miss Emily as a desperate woman who is willing to do anything to keep Homer with her, even if it means killing him.
The use of time shifts also allows Faulkner to present different aspects of the townspeople’s character. For example, we see the townspeople as caring and concerned for Miss Emily after her father’s death. They check on her regularly and bring her food. But after Homer Barron’s body is found in her bedroom, they are quick to judge her and label her as a murderer.
For her, the past is always present. The story opens with the death of Miss Emily Grierson. The townspeople gather at her house to pay their respects and gossip about her life. The narrator then jumps back in time to tell the story of Emily’s life.
Emily was born into a wealthy family in the antebellum South. Her father was a strict man who kept her from socializing with the other young people in the town. After her father’s death, Emily became withdrawn and reclusive. She refused to leave her house or allow any furniture to be removed from it.
The townspeople gossiped about Emily and speculated about what she was doing inside her house all day. Some thought she wascrazy, while others thought she was just eccentric.
One day, Emily was seen in town with a young man named Homer Barron. Homer was from the North and worked as a foreman for the local construction company. The townspeople disapproved of their relationship because they thought Homer was beneath Emily’s social status.
Homer disappeared soon after he was seen with Emily, and no one knew what had happened to him. A few years later, Emily was seen less and less often in town. She became a virtual recluse, only leaving her house to attend church on Sundays.
The townspeople gossiped about Emily even more after she stopped coming into town. They speculated that she had gone crazy and was keeping Homer’s body inside her house.
The story culminates with Emily’s death and the discovery of Homer’s body in her upstairs bedroom. A group of men went into her house after she died and found Homer’s mummified body lying in a bed in one of the upstairs bedrooms. A rose was placed on his pillow, and it is implied that Emily had been sleeping with Homer’s corpse for many years.
The story ends with the townspeople wondering what will happen to Emily’s house now that she is gone. The narrator says that the house will stand empty for many years, and future generations will tell stories about Miss Emily and her strange life.
Miss Emily’s funeral is the catalyst for this narrative in which the men see her as a “fallen monument,” and the women are eager to enter her home. He paints a picture of a woman who is fragile due to having “fallen,” yet she remains as significant and meaningful as before. Miss Emily’s house, which represents everything she stands for, is located on “what had once been the most select street.”
It is an eyesore among the new developments. A “great gibbeted image” hangs over it. This could possibly be a reference to Miss Emily herself, as she is seen as a “fallen monument.
The townspeople gossip about her and say that “no man had crossed the threshold in ten years,” which only adds to the mystery of her life. The house is a physical embodiment of Miss Emily’s life- it is old, stubborn, and set in its ways. It is also secluded from the rest of the town, much like Miss Emily herself.
Faulkner uses time as a way to further develop the setting and characters in “A Rose for Emily. ” He employs the use of flashbacks, which allows the reader to understand Miss Emily’s life and how she got to the point where she is at in the story. We see her father’s controlling ways, her failed relationships, and her gradual decline into madness. Faulkner also uses foreshadowing to hint at the gruesome events that take place in the story.
The setting and use of time play a critical role in understanding “A Rose for Emily. ” Without these elements, the story would not be nearly as effective in conveying its themes of change, isolation, and death.