A Rose For Emily Narrative Essay

Decent Essays

“A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner is a suspenseful story not only because of its complex chronology and shocking ending, but also because of Faulkner’s unusual use of narrative technique. While the narrator is seen by many as a windows pane or mirror upon Emily’s life, there is more to the narrator than simply being an unnamed speaker or collective town voice. The rather unusual narrative perspective creates suspense and a sense of mystery as to the identity of the unnamed narrator, seemingly representing a collective town voice; furthermore, the narrative perspective significantly influences the characterisation of Emily. In this paper, I am going to deal with the following questions: Who is the narrator? What is his relation to Emily? …show more content…

When first reading it, the narrator comes across as a collective town voice, as he/she speaks for the whole town and tells us the gossip and ideas of the town people. He does so in a very detached way, as he is not commenting on the information he is giving us. However, it is obvious that the narrator is a member of this town, as he is using personal pronouns like “we” and “our”. Furthermore, one might get the impression that the narrator is all-knowing because he seems to know many things that he could only know if he either experienced the events himself or is omniscient. For example, on page 121 in the first paragraph, the narrator describes a visit of the Board of Aldermen at Miss Emily’s. When referring to these men, the narrator uses the pronoun “they”, rather than “we”, as he usually does. This means that he is not one of those men who visit Emily. But his precise knowledge about many details of this meeting leads to the assumption that he must be either all-knowing or – if he is not one of the men of the Board of Aldermen – he is another character present. This could be a first hint to the narrator’s real identity. Except for the men of the Board of Aldermen and Miss Emily, there was only one more person present: Tobe, Miss Emily’s black …show more content…

The title “A Rose for Emily” would suggest that something positive is going to happen to Emily, as a rose stands for beauty, youth, and love. However, the whole story is about all the terrible events and misfortunes that happen to Emily. So, one could say that the narrator talks about all the ‘thorns’ handed to Emily. In fact, the narrator confesses to all the town’s crimes against Emily. It starts right at the beginning of the story, when the narrator tells us about her funeral and the reasons, why the town people attend her funeral: “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” (Faulkner 119). This suggests that the people are not sad about her death, but rather feel obliged or have other selfish reasons to attend her funeral. Next, they blame her and her black housekeeper for the unpleasant smell that developed around her house. But instead of talking to her, they decide to solve the matter on their own and so they went to her house “like burglars, sniffing along the base of the brickwork and the cellar openings” (Faulkner 123) and then they even “broke open the cellar door and sprinkled lime there” (Faulkner 123), which is an actual crime. But the town people never get punished for it, on the contrary – the smell even goes away. Until the end of the story, according to the narrator, the town people never do

Get Access