Setting the Theme of A Rose for Emily
First appearing in the Saturday Evening Post on April 1930, A Rose for Emily remains among the most popular and most anthologized narratives by William Faulkner. Set against the old Southern American background, A Rose for Emily mainly paints a photo of psychological instability and how it impacts those around the unbalanced person. Faulkner successfully highlights this theme through using two storytelling techniques: third person perspective and non-chronological story discussion.
Emily Grierson, who is the main character of the story, matured under the strict assistance of her father. All her suitors have been denied because her family thought they were just unsatisfactory for her or for the family. This was shy she matured old and unmarried. So when her daddy died, leaving her with nothing, everyone in the area pitied her.
And with her age, they made certain she’s going to end up an old housemaid. So when Homer Barron occurred and showed interest in Emily, the townspeople were happy and were secretly wishing that Homer would wed her. And weeks pass and things appear to be going that method– Emily buys “a male’s toilet set in silver, with the letters H.B. on each piece … and a complete outfit of males’s clothing, consisting of a nightshirt” (Faulkner, 84).
However one day, Homer can no longer be seen in town. And everybody assumed he had actually run away, leaving Emily still unmarried. Emily gradually started pulling back from everybody else. She was hardly ever seen out of the home and just her butler goes out to buy the home needs. Then one day, news of her death reached the townspeople. When they went to your home to pay homage, they saw in the space that was Emily’s, Bart’s skeleton positioned in an embrace. And next to it was a hair of “iron-gray hair” that most probably belonged to Emily.
The whole of A Rose for Emily is told by a person who is not straight involved in the story. He is someone who saw the story unfold prior to him yet he is not central to the story. In other words, A Rose for Emily is narrated in a third person perspective. The approach is not brand-new, however it something that mixes well in how Faulkner wished to provide the story.
It is a well-known fact– after all, it is written in a couple of introductory psychology books and documented in popular literature and media– that insane people are the last to confess that they have an issue which they are not in their appropriate minds. Even with the indications of a mental illness, an individual will deny that they are feeling abnormal.
This is why a mental disorder is typically identified by the individual who is not in the scenario and who is in the right frame of mind to mention the issue. With Faulkner’s usage of another person to find Emily’s far from regular behavior, he spares the readers from misreading a very first person story.
And given that the narrator never actually says outright that Emily seethes but simply explains the situation as it is and simply mentions from time to time what the others are thinking, the readers have the ability to take cue from him and deduce their own conclusions. This is an effective method of setting out the style due to the fact that it relies heavily on and amplifies the social consensus about what is and is not regular.
Another thing that made the 3rd individual point of view the ideal option for the narrative style is its ability to inject a component of surprise in this particular story. Given that whatever that’s informed is based just on what the storyteller sees and feels and does not enable readers to peek at what the lead character is in fact believing, we are required to making our reasonings regarding what really occurs inside your home of Emily. The third person can just state so much; consider example how he described Homer’s loss:
So we were not surprised when Homer Barron– the streets had actually been ended up a long time because– was gone. We were a little disappointed that there was not a public blowing-off, however we believed that he had actually gone on to prepare for Miss Emily’s coming, or to provide her a possibility to get rid of the cousins … Sure sufficient, after another week they departed. And, as we had anticipated all along, within 3 days Homer Barron was back in town. A next-door neighbor saw the Negro guy confess him at the cooking area door at sunset one night.
And that was the last we saw of Homer Barron. (Faulkner, 85)
We are not provided any forewarning that Homer is dead and that Emily has actually been sleeping with his bones all the while. This created for an effective ending, making the readers recognize at the same time the gravity of Emily’s sorry life.
Although the 3rd person viewpoint is not entirely distinct– a great deal of authors have been using that tactic– a non-chronological method to storytelling certainly is. Very couple of authors attempt presenting their stories in a non-linear manner because such a technique is extremely difficult to do and can certainly be confusing both to the author and reader. Faulkner, though, is bold for braving this especially tough design. And he does it so well.
With A Rose for Emily, Faulkner uncovers the events in the story not in the order that they took place however in the order that he deemed it essential to reveal. The author’s purpose is not to puzzle; au contraire, this specific technique was used to highlight just those Faulkner understands is essential for the readers.
By chunking specific parts of the story together, the writer efficiently lets the readers step into the shoes of how the storyteller feels about the protagonist Emily. Instead of being concerned about what happened before what or what will occur next, readers are then more concerned about the emotions behind every action. And just like the 3rd person viewpoint, this kind of narrative contributed to the story’s aspect of surprise; which in turn enhanced the impact of the story’s ending, thus putting more focus on Faulkner’s point.
A Rose for Emily is absolutely not your standard short story. With non-conventional methods (like 3rd individual point of view and non-chronological storytelling) applied by the author, this popular narrative achieves in communicating its main point. And that is why it successfully etches its method into the hearts of those who read it.