A Rose For Emily by William Faulkner: The Narrator

William Faulkner was the first to turn the eyes of America toward the South six years after the Civil War. The war was still an aching spot for a lot of people of the United States and the people of the South were still considered by numerous as the opponent, not just because it had actually left the Union, however because of the complicated guidelines of her society.

Faulkner enabled the rest of the nation a peek into this world which can in some cases be macabre.

His narrative A Rose For Emily, released in nineteen thirty, was informed in third individual minimal point of view. The choice of storyteller for this story was necessary to the story since of the fact that the storyteller is an expert in the culture that was practically forgotten previous to the Modernism Duration.

The narrator is a citizen of Jefferson, Mississippi in the county Yoknapatawpha County, the imaginary town and county produced by Faulkner that represented his own town of Oxford.

Any culture feels threatened when an outsider exposes its unfavorable characteristics; for that reason the storyteller had to be a Southerner. When he tells the story, he uses the pronoun “we” when describing the citizens of Jefferson.

This permits the reader to comprehend that the narrator speaks for the town and recognizes with the culture. It seems if the one telling the story is a man even if this is never ever mentioned. A female would not have actually made the statement that the narrator does about the factor that Colonel Sartoris has remitted her taxes.

“Only a guy of Colonel Sartoris’ generation and idea might have invented it, and only a woman might have believed it.” (Faulkner) From the declaration one can surmise that the narrator is a male. He remains unnamed throughout the story, yet he would need to be senior given that he not only relates the details of Miss Emily’s, the protagonist, death, but can likewise relate the story of her youth.

Miss Emily is of the upper class in Jefferson, yet the storyteller is clearly not. He is most likely working class due to the fact that he knows 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 home. He certainly sees a line drawn between himself and the Griersons, rather, he relates to most of the residents of the town of Jefferson.

He has for years listened to the chatter of the little southern town and accepted it as truth, at times feeling sympathy and other times passing judgment on Miss Emily as well as the others. “Being left alone, and a pauper, she had become humanized. Now she too would understand the old excitement and the old despair of a cent basically.” (Faulkner)

He feels vindicated when she is brought down to the level of the rest of the people in town, yet his heart feels for her when she is left alone when her dad passes away and when it seems as if Homer Baron, her fan, has actually abandoned her.

The imaginary town Jefferson, Mississippi deep in the heart of the South forms the narrator’s point of view of the story. While the reader will be mortified by what happens throughout the story, the storyteller accepts them as just everyday happenings. Considering that the storyteller is a person, the culture does not seem weird.

Since of this the reader can understand that the lifestyle that is depicted is real. It truly does matter what a person’s last name is and what class he/ was born into in Jefferson and other Southern towns. It was feasible that certain individuals could walk into a pharmacy and purchase toxin without being questions just two weeks later when an odor was seen beyond her home and her fan disappeared.

The storyteller would need to recognize with this setting to not question it himself. His own responses expose that he expects the rest of the world to accept the methods of Jefferson and his Southern culture as typical and natural.

If Faulkner had picked any other storyteller than the average male from Jefferson the effect that the story had would not have been as unbelievable as it was. The reader would not have actually had the ability to bring an unbiased perspective to the story if he/she were clouded with the sympathy for Miss Emily informing her own story.

It is vital to the story that she is dead at the end and can not pay legally for what she has done, therefore she might not tell her story. The truth that males and females will never ever really understand the mind of the opposite sex makes a manly storyteller more unbiased.

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

The negro fulfilled the first of the women at the front door and let them in, with their hushed, sibilant voices and their fast, curious looks, and then he disappeared. He walked right through your home and out the back and was not seen once again. (Faulkner)

He would rather leave everything that he knows than to reveal the tricks he has kept for his whole adult life. He would just be too reserved. The narrator that was selected is the one who could inform the story and symbolically providing Miss Emily a rose by bringing her story to the world.

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

Functions Mentioned

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

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