Plot Anaysis: a Rose for Emily Essay

1595 WordsNov 29, 20137 Pages
William Faulkner explores Emily Grierson’s life by starting and ending with her death. Instead of telling her story chronologically he tells important tidbits in by breaking up the story into five parts, each one set at a different time in her life. The plot of “A Rose for Emily” focuses heavily on death and loss. Each of the five parts bears some mention of Emily’s loss and this constant reiteration helps the reader to feel some of Emily’s grief. First she loses her father, his death is mentioned throughout the story, then she loses the support of the town, eventually she loses her love and finally she loses her life. Faulkner’s use of a nonlinear narrative helps to emphasize the tragedy of Emily’s life. Faulkner tells the reader early on that Emily lives in a “big, squarish frame house that had once been white, decorated with cupolas and spires and scrolled balconies… set on what had once been our most select street,” (21) and as a member of a once affluent family Emily herself had become “a tradition, a duty, and a care; a sort of hereditary obligation upon the town” (21) after her father’s death. After the death of Colonel Sartoris, a friend of her father, the younger generation that took control of the town felt no need to maintain Emily and sought to tax her, only to be sent away, and annually ignored. Emily became a recluse, and closed her home to all visitors. The arrival of Homer Barron, contracted by the town to pave sidewalks, was Emily’s chance to rejoin the world. For a time the town assumed the two would marry, only to turn on the couple, and after a feeble attempt to break them up Homer disappeared and Emily went back into her house, until she became fat and gray (25), then eventually died. Homer Baron was found in the house, lying as if he was once hugging someone, with one of Emily’s hairs on the pillow beside him (26). The nonlinear plot of “A

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