Criticizing “A Rose for Emily” Although it is only six pages long , “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner has gained a lot of attention from critics. The story has been interpreted in numerous ways. Myself I consider the story to be very interesting as well as complex if you are a reader who tends to drift off in thought as I do. I consider the story to be a horror story in a way with a surprising twist. William Faulkner has written a lot of stories and out of the ones I have read this has to be the most interesting to me.
The unnamed narrator of “A Rose for Emily” serves as the town’s collective voice. Critics have debated whether it is a man or woman; a former lover of Emily Grierson’s; the boy who remembers the sight of Mr. Grierson in the doorway, holding the whip; or the town gossip, spearheading the effort to break down the door at the end. It is possible, too, that the narrator is Emily’s former servant, To be—he would have known her intimately, perhaps including her secret.
A few aspects of the story support this theory, such as the fact that the narrator often refers to Emily as “Miss Emily” and provides only one descriptive detail about the Colonel Sartoris, the mayor: the fact that he enforced a law requiring that black women wear aprons in public. In any case, the narrator hides behind the collective pronoun we. By using we, the narrator can attribute what might be his or her own thoughts and opinions to all of the townspeople, turning private ideas into commonly held beliefs.
The narrator deepens the mystery of the story and of who he is and how much he knows at the end of the story, when the townspeople discover Homer’s body. The narrator confesses “Already weknew” that an upstairs bedroom had been sealed up. However, we never find out just how the narratorknows about the room. More important, at this point, for the first time in the story, the narrator uses the pronoun “they” instead of “we” to refer to the townspeople. First, he says, “Already we knew that there was one room” Then he changes to, “They waited until Miss Emily was decently in the groundbefore they opened it. (Faulkner)This is an important change. Until now, the narrator has willingly groupe himself with the rest of the townspeople, accepting the community’s actions, thoughts, and speculations as his own. Here, however, the narrator distances himself from the action, as though the breaking down of the door is something he can’t bring himself to. The shift is quick, and he returns to “we” in the passages that follow, but it gives u an important clue about the who the narrator is. Whoever he was, the narrator cared for Emily, despite her eccentricities and horrible, desperate act.
In a town that treated her as an oddity and, finally, a horror, a kind, sympathetic gesture—even one as slight as symbolically looking away when the private door is forced open—stands out. In the beginning of the story it starts by saying ,”When Emily Greirson died, our whole town went to her funeral: the men through a sort of respectful affection for a fallen monument. ” After reading thew whole story I was a little confused for a woman that was mysterious and misunderstood the townspeople did make an effort to pay their respects to her.
In my eyes Emily had a either dysfunctional family or love life in her earlier years. Emily obviously did not want to be alone and would go to any drastic measure to make sure she was never alone. In the end of the story people find out that Emily has a dead body festering in her bed that belongs to a man that I guess she loved. As I said before all critics are different and everyone has there own opinion. John L. Skinner believes that the story retaliated with an almost obsessive interest. A Rose for Emily” has become one of Faulkner’s most analyzed stories and with some hundred articles devoted to it, there is little encouragement for further interpretation. Skinner calls the story as well as writing style “ingenious, but misguided. ”i agree with him but then at the same time I do disagree. Another critic for ‘”A Rose for Emily” is Gene M. Moore. Moore pretty much believes that the story is very complex and well written. She does not believe that the story is obsessed over she thinks it deserves all the attention ever brought to it.
Moore’s favorite writer is said to be Faulkner. She believes this selection is one of his best ever. The last critic who I strongly do agree with is William Van O’Connor. He says “Stressing] or rather over-stressing historical and sociological, or regional, aspects of Faulkner’s fiction, even when the mythic qualities are acknowledged, leads to distorting the more basic intention of many, perhaps most, of the stories—to reading them somehow as documents in a legendary history of the South. ” as well as saying “I am not of course trying to say that one can ignore these aspects.
They are inevitably and powerfully interwoven with the themes; they may have brought some of the themes sharply to his consciousness; and certainly the regional characteristics modify and qualify the ways in which the themes are developed. ” both of these quotes from him describe to the T almost what I think about the story line. You can never really be sure what the author is trying to interpret into their story its more in the air and you have to research the author to understand the message.
In conclusion, not everyone is the same or gets the same message out of a story especially one as complex as this one. Some of the literary techniques used in this short story are The Authors ability to structure the story without using chronological order and the use of many literally devices intrigues the reader to continue. Faulkner uses foreshadowing throughout the story. He starts with the first sentence “ When Miss Emily died, our whole town went to her funeral,” he explains that the men go out of respect and the women go out of curiosity.
The first sentence alone asks the reader three questions. First, “Miss” means that Emily has never been married. Why or why not? Second, the men attend out of respect, insinuating that they only attend because it is an expected behavior and not because she was popular. Why was not popular? Finally, the women go out of curiosity to see the inside of the house. Why had no one been in the house for so long? Theses are the literary techniques that I was able to pull out just in the beginning of the story. cite page Faulkner William. DiYanni, Robert. A Rose for Emily. ” Literature 2008: p 79-84. Moore M Gene. “‘A Rose for Emily’: Against Interpretation,” in The Journal of Narrative Technique, Vol. 15, No. 1, Winter, 1985, p. 42–51. O’Connor Van William (excerpt from “History in ‘A Rose for Emily’,” in A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner, edited by M. Thomas Inge, Charles E. Merrill Publishing Company, 1970. ) Skinner L John. “Of Time and Its Mathematical Progression: Problems of Chronology in Faulkner’s ‘A Rose for Emily,’” in Studies in Short Fiction, Vol. 29, 1992, p. 195–204.