A Rose For Emily by William Faulkner: The Narrator

William Faulkner was the very first to turn the eyes of America toward the South six decades after the Civil War. The war was still an aching spot for many citizens of the United States and individuals of the South were still thought about by numerous as the opponent, not even if it had left the Union, however because of the complex guidelines of her society.

Faulkner allowed the rest of the country a glimpse into this world which can in some cases be macabre.

His narrative A Rose For Emily, released in nineteen thirty, was informed in 3rd individual minimal point of view. The option of narrator for this story was necessary to the story because of the reality that the narrator is an insider in the culture that was practically forgotten previous to the Modernism Period.

The storyteller is a resident of Jefferson, Mississippi in the county Yoknapatawpha County, the imaginary town and county developed by Faulkner that represented his own town of Oxford.

Any culture feels threatened when an outsider reveals its unfavorable traits; therefore the storyteller had to be a Southerner. When he tells the story, he utilizes the pronoun “we” when describing the people of Jefferson.

This allows the reader to understand that the narrator speaks for the town and is familiar with the culture. It appears if the one informing the story is a male even if this is never specified. A lady would not have made the declaration that the storyteller does about the factor that Colonel Sartoris has actually remitted her taxes.

“Just a guy of Colonel Sartoris’ generation and idea could have created it, and only a female could have thought it.” (Faulkner) From the declaration one can assume that the narrator is a male. He remains unnamed throughout the story, yet he would have to be senior since he not only relates the information of Miss Emily’s, the protagonist, death, but can also relate the story of her youth.

Miss Emily is of the aristocracy in Jefferson, yet the narrator is clearly not. He is most likely working class due to the fact that he understands her and is privileged to the details of the other residents in addition to having access to her actions when she is outside of her house. He absolutely sees a line drawn between himself and the Griersons, instead, he identifies with the majority of the residents of the town of Jefferson.

He has for years listened to the gossip of the small southern town and accepted it as reality, sometimes feeling compassion and other times passing judgment on Miss Emily along with the others. “Being left alone, and a pauper, she had actually become humanized. Now she too would understand the old adventure and the old despair of a cent more or less.” (Faulkner)

He feels vindicated when she is reduced to the level of the remainder of the individuals in town, yet his heart feels for her when she is left alone when her dad dies and when it appears as if Homer Baron, her fan, has deserted her.

The fictional town Jefferson, Mississippi deep in the heart of the South shapes the narrator’s viewpoint of the story. While the reader will be mortified by what happens throughout the story, the narrator accepts them as just everyday happenings. Considering that the storyteller is a citizen, the culture does not appear unusual.

Since of this the reader can understand that the lifestyle that is portrayed is real. It actually does matter what a person’s last name is and what class he/ was born into in Jefferson and other Southern towns. It was practical that particular individuals could walk into a drugstore and purchase poison without being questions simply 2 weeks later when a smell was discovered outside of her home and her enthusiast vanished.

The narrator would need to recognize with this setting to not question it himself. His own responses reveal that he anticipates the remainder of the world to accept the methods of Jefferson and his Southern culture as normal and natural.

If Faulkner had picked any other storyteller than the typical man from Jefferson the impact that the story had would not have actually been as unbelievable as it was. The reader would not have actually been able to bring an unbiased point of view to the story if he/she were clouded with the sympathy for Miss Emily telling her own story.

It is important to the story that she is dead at the end and can not pay legally for what she has actually done, for that reason she might not tell her story. The reality that men and women will never ever genuinely comprehend the mind of the opposite sex makes a masculine storyteller more objective.

A woman would comprehend Miss Emily too well and bring judgment to her actions. The only other character that might perhaps tell Miss Emily’s story would be her servant, Toby. Nevertheless, he is obviously too loyal to not be shaded by her actions.

The negro satisfied the very first of the women at the front door and let them in, with their hushed, sibilant voices and their fast, curious glances, and then he vanished. He walked right through your house and out the back and was not seen again. (Faulkner)

He would rather leave whatever that he knows than to reveal the secrets he has kept for his whole adult life. He would merely be too reserved. The storyteller that was picked is the one who might inform the story and symbolically giving Miss Emily a rose by bringing her story to the world.

Faulkner’s genius is clearly at work by choosing the narrator that he did. His option of storyteller enabled the readers to recognize that there was more to Southern people than the Confederacy which was a society with clearly drawn lines and rules that were accepted as a way of living.

Works Pointed out

Faulkner, William. A Rose for Emily. 30, April 1930 Mead School District. 29, January 2009

http://74.125.95.132/search?q=cache:Ogf7G-mySCwJ:www.mead.k12.wa.us/mhs/Stedman/classweb/Short%2520Stories/ A%2520Rose%2520For%2520Emily. pdf+a+increased+for+emily+online+text&& hl=en & ct=clnk & cd=1 & gl=us & ie = UTF-8

You Might Also Like