Mount 1 Paige Mount Professor Corbally English 102 27 September 2019 Secretes of a Fallen Monument William Faulkner’s “A Rose For Emily” is written about a lonely aristocratic woman who struggles to cope with life and the changes of the Old South in the Post Civil War Era. Miss Emily is a prisoner of herself and her world, as she cannot let go of the traditions and customs of the upper class with which she sees herself. Faulkner’s short story is revealed with a noteworthy entanglement of the events of Miss Emily’s life. The fashion in which the story is chronologically jumbled creates a sense of curiosity and perplexity within the reader. Faulkner also puts an interesting twist on the narration of the short story with the use of an unusual perspective. This creates a sense that the story is roughly told as gossip or as the towns’ people’s confessions. Faulkner does an excellent job at keeping the reader immersed and inquisitive as to the tragic life of Miss Emily Grierson. There may be a decent amount of foreshadowing in “A Rose for Emily” but with Faulkner’s use of an unfamiliar order of events it prohibits the reader from fully grasping the complexities of the short story until the ending is disclosed. Faulkner starts the story off with the event of Miss Emily’s death, but quickly turns to the telling of who Miss Emily was and how her unfortunate life played out so tragically. The flow of the story remains continuous but the narrator moves between these memories of Miss Emily’s life almost indiscriminately as if you would be speaking to a friend about them. Logically, the story makes sense yet the events being Mount 2 played out sporadically creates a sense of bewilderment that did not quite come to understanding until the story ended. Once the conclusion is known the story makes a great deal more sense than it did while reading. At first the reader may not understand what the previous events of the story are suggesting and this could be another reason the reader is curious and perplexed at some of the events mentioned. The middle of the story foretells what the arsenic Miss Emily has bought is going to be used for but at the same time they are mentioning the arsenic, they also speak about the two female cousins that were visiting Miss Emily. The towns people did not particularly like these cousins as they were “even more Grierson than Miss Emily had ever been”(4). The story also goes on to immediately speak of the towns’ people assumptions saying, “She will kill herself” and “it would be the best thing”(4). These two interjections distract the reader from her true intentions for the arsenic. There is also the foreshadowing of the “vigorous iron-grey”(4) hair that Miss Emily had become accustomed to but we do not really appreciate the reason for the intricate detail mentioned about her hair until the very last sentence of the story. The foreshadowing Faulkner includes is flawless but the way he formulates this short story so that the foreshadowing is unknown is impeccable. At the end of the story, Faulkner leaves the reader thinking, “How in the world did I not see that coming?” There is a sort of anticipation throughout the story that leaves the reader eager to understand and know this story of Miss Emily’s life. You could say there is a lot of uncertainty as to the timeline of the story as no memory is fully divulged but only parts of it are understood at a time. When the narrator first speaks about Homer Barron, you can see that there is desire in Miss Emily that had not be portrayed before. The reader is hopeful that Miss Emily’s life may turn around as her father had “driven away”(3) all the young men, as “none of the [them] were good enough”(2). This eagerness turns from a dream come true type state of Miss Emily Mount 3 probably marrying her sweetheart to confusion when the arsenic if purchased. The druggist asked Miss Emily what the arsenic was being used for, as the law requires an answer. Miss Emily stared at the druggist, “her head tilted back in order to look at him eye for eye until he looked away”. The delivery boy then brought Miss Emily the package that was marked with a skull and bones and with the words “For rats” written under. The impression is given that Miss Emily is using the poison for something unconventional but only assumptions can be made at this point. Who is the arsenic for? Why would she want to harm anyone or anything? Is she going to use it on herself? Miss Emily being a noble lady, one would not think of her taking part in such an indescribable act as murder! It is at the end of the story that the suspense subsides and the reader is able to understand that the rancid smell at Miss Emily’s house mentioned by the narrator earlier in the story was in fact the smell of the decaying body of Homer Barron, Miss Emily’s sweetheart. Faced with the thought that she was probably not going to be married as Mr. Barron “was not a marrying man”(4), Miss Emily committed the unthinkable and hid that secret for forty years. We can see now that the chain of events is clear that Miss Emily was a lonely and distraught woman who, because of her distressing life, chose to live with death rather than deal with the reality or “death” of her situation. Miss Emily decided not to see the changes that were occurring in the world or in her own life and instead preferred to believe that she was still this noble woman as she was so many years prior. She could not come to terms that she was just like every other tax paying citizen from Jefferson. With “A Rose for Emily”, Faulkner does a superb job creating wonder among his readers with his unique and uncertain narrative view. The narration, as unusual as it may be, helps maintain the suspense the reader feels which in turn makes the reader want more, to read more. Mount 4 The foreshadowing is so well disguised through the telling of events by the narrator that the reader is caught off guard by the final occurrences. Suspense, anxiety, and confusion are all present in the reader throughout the short story as its events are laid out one by one. “A Rose for Emily” is a thought-provoking story of an old matriarchs’ life that really is a murder mystery in disguise.