Analysis of “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner
“A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner is centered around a rich and unmarried woman, about whom there are also many rumors among her neighbors. Faulkner’s use of specific literary techniques can be observed throughout history. The author uses every literary technique needed for developing the topic that is not immediately apparent to the typical reader. This remarkable use of literary techniques is what makes “A Rose for Emily” such a great and well-known story in the literary world. Understated aspects in William Faulkner’s narrative, including descriptions of the lady and her neighborhood, incidents in life, and local gossip, foreshadow Miss Emily’s and her lover’s fate. The description of the protagonist as well as her environment implies that the ending comprises death and decomposition.
The confusing sequence of events conveys perspectives from different periods of history, providing an understanding of events that have already occurred. For example, in a dialogue between the pharmacist and Miss Emily, she states: “I want arsenic” and refuses to say why (Faulkner 3). This moment in the story is aimed at arousing certain suspicions in the reader, but does not reveal all the details of the events to the end. Miss Emily’s personality is given an unusual atmosphere by the chronological placement of this scene after the burial and the mention of the smell. Furthermore, when Faulkner describes the woman’s connection with her neighbors, the author states that “she had vanquished their fathers thirty years before about the smell” (Faulkner 2). Although the characteristics of the smell are unknown, its mention raises worries about future events in the story. Finally, when Faulkner writes, “and that was the last we saw of Homer Barron,” (Faulkner 4) The importance of components from previous parts of the plot expands.
The dust motif is also actively supported in the text. It can be assumed that the dust covering objects and people in Emily’s house is a shading of past events. It is evident that the dust does not change or destroy the past but hides it – it provides an ambiguity that helps the people not to know what is happening in Emily’s house. To support this statement, it is necessary to indicate that the body of Homer Barron was covered with “coating of the patient and biding dust” (Faulkner 5). This quote illustrates how the dust hides parts of Emily’s life from the people. When they found Homer’s body, it was like dust was being swept away, revealing the truth of the past. She shows how events from the past are sometimes discovered, so this does not make Emily invulnerable to external presence. The dust is swept away, and the past is revealed, changing Miss Emily’s life several times throughout the text.
Because of the precise complexity of the foreshadowing elements, the ending of “A Roses for Emily” is unforeseen. The specifics of Miss Emily’s appearance, her apartment, and the discussion do not appear to be relevant until the closing sentence, where it is revealed that Homer Barron has been deceased for more than forty years. These components become more prominent in the story’s structure when the entire truth is exposed. Many aspects in “A Rose for Emily” reveal the story’s conclusion through the perspective of her gossip circle next door. Although the truth is not revealed until the last sentence, a number of contextual clues provide light on Miss Emily and Homer Barron’s real-world experiences, demonstrating how noticing the subtleties of life can lead to the picture being completely misunderstood.
Faulkner, William. A Rose for Emily. Springfield, 1930.