Faulkner's Literary Tactics

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William Faulkner was a well-esteemed author of the 20th century who used many literary techniques to display messages in his writings. In his short story, A Rose for Emily, he used literary tools such as point of view, physical plot structure, and symbolism to develop his theme that the past is always wound into the present. Faulkner decides to use the point of view that the members of the town possess for Ms. Emily Grierson. This point of view works best in A Rose for Emily because it attracts the audiences' curiosity for the mysterious Miss Emily just as the town is lured. It is as if you are one of the societal members of the town. Because of the generations and societal changes that Miss Emily withstands and resists the audience is able to better understand the true mystery that the town feels towards her. She is a model of tradition to the town and by their acceptance of her they accept that the past is always the present. For instance, she exempted her taxes once therefore she will never owe taxes to the town, a means of the past always being part of the present. The unique structure Faulkner uses for A Rose for Emily makes the story confusing but more interesting throughout. The audience knows that Miss Emily is ultimately going to die as stated in the first few words, but the curiosity is prolonged with the details of the events leading up to her death. Part 1 of the story should follow Part 4 because of the order of events that occur. As the audience proceeds through the story, Miss Emily's death becomes further and further into the past but at the end of the story, amazingly, the past has again become the present, and again Miss. Emily is dead. The symbols used by Faulkner are subtle but when thoroughly comprehended each makes since and is closely tied to the theme. The simple and ingenious diction Faulkner uses when he explains the "iron-gray" hair on the pillow the same description he had used before to represent Miss Emily's aged hair, allows the audience to make the connection as to why Homer Barron's body was still there. Faulkner had already used foreshadowing to that exact occurrence with the details following the stench after Miss Emily's father's death where he was kept unburied until she was force to bury him.
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