The Life of Emily Grierson in A Rose for Emily

The Life of Emily Grierson in A Rose for Emily

What story does the image of a strand of iron-gray hair resting on a pillow invoke? Many people could imagine a horrible ghost story or a beautiful tale of old age. Yet, through the eyes of William Faulkner, he imagined a tortured necrophiliac. The story’s amazing twists and turns take the reader on a terrific joy ride through the life of Emily Grierson. A Rose for Emily, I think, helps to portray a more grim, vile aspect of life. Most people do not realize that life includes these gruesome parts. This story included many different structures and details of literature. I will discuss these differences and the interesting pieces throughout this literary work.

The plot structure of A Rose for Emily is different from most of the stories that one reads. Most stories start from the beginning of the tale and go through a certain period of time. They normally end in a resolution. A Rose for Emily begins at the end of the story and tells the plot through various flashbacks. Instead of following the normal plot structure (the exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and the resolution), it includes these throughout the tale in a precariously different order.

Faulkner also uses a different technique in choosing a narrator for A Rose for Emily. Instead of having one person or the main character tell the story, he uses a collective “we”. It represents all the townspeople and their version of the story. I think this brings an air of mystery throughout the story because no one knows who’s actually telling the story.

The ending of A Rose for Emily was very surprising. Faulkner led you through Emily’s life shadowed from what she really was. In the end he throws you two shocking aspects that Emily murdered Homer Barron and that she has been sleeping beside him since she killed him. Faulkner slowly brings us to this conclusion by keeping an air of mystery and suspense within the literature. The reader begins to like and sympathize with Emily until the horrible realization of her true character. If he had not have done this, the story would not have been as grand and effective.

A Rose for Emily seemed to be a strange title for the story.

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