Narrative Worth in A Rose for Emily Essay

In “ A Rose for Emily”, William Faulkner tells the complex tale of a woman who is battered by time and unable to move through life after the loss of each significant male figure in her life. Unlike Disney Stories, there is no prince charming to rescue fallen princess, and her assumed misery becomes the subject of everyone in the town of Jefferson, Mississippi. As the townspeople gossip about her and develop various scenarios to account for her behaviors and the unknown details of her life, Emily Grierson serves as a scapegoat for the lower classes to validate their lives. In telling this story, Faulkner decides to take an unusual approach; he utilizes a narrator to convey the details of a first-person tale, by examining chronology, the role of the narrator and the interpretations of “A Rose for Emily”, it can be seen that this story is impossible to tell without a narrator.

As Faulkner begins “A Rose for Emily” with death of Emily, he both immediately and intentionally obscures the chronology of the short story to create a level of distance between the reader and the story and to capture the reader’s attention. Typically, the reader builds a relationship with each character in the story because the reader goes on a journey with the character. In “A Rose for Emily”, Faulkner “weaves together the events of Emily’s life” is no particular order disrupting the journey for the reader (Burg, Boyle and Lang 378). Instead, Faulkner creates a mandatory alternate route for the reader. He “sends the reader on a dizzying voyage by referring to specific moments in time that have no central referent, and thus the weaves the past into the present, the present into the past. “Since the reader is denied this connection with the characters, the na…

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Works Cited

1. Burg, Jennifer, Anne Boyle and Sheau-Dong Lang. “Using Constraint Logic Programming to Analyze the Chronology in A Rose of Emily”. Computer and the humanities (2000): 377-392

2. Faulkner, William “A Rose for Emily”. Schilb, John and John Clifford “Making Literature Matters: An Anthropology for Readers and Writers”, Boston and New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2009. 667-675

3. Perry, Manakhelm “Literary Dynamics: How the Order of a Text Creates Its Meanings [With an Analysis of Faulkner’s “A rose for Emily”] Poetics today (1979). 35-65+311-365

4. Skinner, John “A Rose for Emily: Against Interpretation. “Journal of Narrative Technique” (1985): 42-51

5. Sullivan, Ruth “The Narrator in A rose for Emily”. Journal of Narrative Technique (1971): 159-178

6. Watkins, Floyd C. “The Structure of A Rose for Emily”. Modern Language Notes (1954): 508-510

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