A Rose for Emily by Charles Faulkner

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In “A Rose for Emily”, Charles Faulkner used a series of flashbacks and foreshadowing to tell Miss Emily’s story. Miss Emily is an interesting character, to say the least. In such a short story of her life, as told from the prospective of a townsperson, who had been nearly eighty as Miss Emily had been, in order to tell the story from their own perspective. Faulkner set up the story in Mississippi, in a world he knew of in his own lifetime. Inspired by a southern outlook that had been touched by the Civil War memory, the touch of what we would now look at as racism, gives the southern aroma of the period. It sets up Miss Emily’s southern belle status and social standing she had been born into, loner or not. As the story begins you see that her father had perhaps set her up to expect too high of standards, as no suitor had been good enough for her until after her father’s death. The fact that for most of her life the Negro man, who had been her manservant, was the only person she had contact with and he shows the secretive life that she had lived. As literature and common society outlook gives society distaste for loners, it automatically gives people suspicion of them. Rich, gentle old maid or not. As part two begins, and she sends away the aldermen about her owed taxes, it states the smell; the smell that had been taken care of, by former townsmen, thirty years before. The foreshadowing and touch of romantic mystery added says, “That was two years after father’s death and a short time after her sweetheart - the one we believed would marry her - had deserted her.” (145)The smell gives question, mystery, and confusion to the reader. Why would there be a smell and why is it important to the story? Why is it also important to make... ... middle of paper ... ...h to question. It seems as if it is Homer who lies in the bed, although it is not verified. Had Homer attempted to desert Miss Emily as everyone thought? Had she in turn killed him with arsenic she had purchased just before their relationship had struck up? Had the cousins who visited arranged such a murder? Had Miss Emily, crazed with years of being an old maid and an outsider from society, stayed in bed next to her beloved, as if he had never left her? If it had not been for the foreshadowing so well placed in the story we would have no clues as to who lie in the bed. No indication as to what might have led to his murder and for him to be left in the upstairs bedroom. Although Faulkner did not answer such questions for the reader, he gives enough information in the foreshadowing for conclusions to be drawn. Works Cited "A Rose for Emily" by Charles Faulkner
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