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Chioveanu Isabela - LLR-LLE, Anul III, Seria I, Gr.


William Faulkner’s A Rose for Emily

- William Faulkner (1897-1962) was not a popular writer during his times, as he didn’t
belong to the Lost Generation which evolved in Paris. He was a singular case, as he built up
his diegesis on mythos. He creates a fictional county, Yoknapatawpha, where most of his
writings are set. Faulkner writes in a modern style, as he relies on inner monologues, stream
of consciousness and flashback technique.
- A Rose for Emily is a short story published on April 30th, 1930, in a national magazine called
The Forum. It echoes Poe, as it is a detective fiction and contains Gothic elements, such as a
dusty, old house, a mentally disabled woman and hints of necrophilia.
- The story is structured in five parts, it begins and ends with the same theme, Emily
Grierson’s death, so the narrative is circular. This narrative also contains flashbacks about
Emily’s past, seen from the Jefferson’s inhabitants’ eyes, as the collective narrator often uses
we as he adresses to the reader:
We did not say she was crazy then. We believed she had to do that. We
remembered all the young men her father had driven away, and we knew that with
nothing left, she would have to cling to that which had robbed her, as people will.
(Faulkner, 4)
During this flashback, when Emily was still young, the inhabitants see her as
an overprotected woman, as her father considered that no man is good enough for her. Emily
lives in her own world, as she claims that her father is still alive, even if he was dead. She is
not considered insane, but attached to her father’s memory, as she couldn’t literally let him
go, keeping his body in the house.
- Emily’s insanity is revealed to the reader after her funeral, as her cousins opened a locked
door. Before this episode, she was just supposed to be, as she buys arsenic and Homer Barron
was last seen at her house. Her cousins found a bridal room, with clothes and a silver toilet
set containing the initials H.B., the man whom she was supposed to marry. More shocking
than this was finding Homer Barron’s rotten body laid in bed for almost forty years and next
to him a long, gray hair and the indentation of a head, a hint to the fact that Emily slept near
his body:
For a long while we just stood there, looking down at the profound and
fleshless grin. The body had apparently once lain in the attitude of an embrace, but
now the long sleep that outlasts love, that conquers even the grimace of love, had
cuckolded him. What was left of him, rotted beneath what was left of the nightshirt,
had become inextricable from the bed in which he lay; and upon him and upon the
pillow beside him lay that even coating of the patient and biding dust.Then we noticed
that in the second pillow was the indentation of a head. One of us lifted something
from it, and leaning forward, that faint and invisible dust dry and acrid in the nostrils,
we saw a long strand of iron-gray hair. (Faulkner, 9)

she is rarely seen. the inhabitants visit her house with her cousins.Emily’s funeral and the intention to visit her house flashba Emily’s funeral. they find Barron’s body and her hair on the pillow Old Emily’s vanquish over the Board of flashback Emily’s father death flashforw flashforw Emily meets Homer Barron and kills him after she realizes that he has no intention to marry her. After this. dies at the age of seventy-four .

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