A Rose for Emily

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First person narration can be used in many different ways. It could be from the lips of the main character, or it can be from an outside source. In the story “A Rose For Emily by William Faulkner the story is told in a “First people” narration. A First person narration is a narrative mode where a story is narrated by one character at a time, speaking for and about them. In this particular story there are many different points of views on the main character Emily Grierson. There is constant Gossip about Miss Emily Grierson that happens in this story to give us a clear understanding of our main character.

Also the town focuses on the issue of Emily not paying her taxes, and the issue of her buying the poison. With The town of Jefferson is the narrator through out this story, giving it a first person narration style. In “A Rose for Emily” Faulkner begins the story with the death of Miss Emily Grierson, giving the reader the first glimpse into the main character of the story. By using an objective point of view an author turns the reader into a jury, so that the reader is able to interpret the story, and draw conclusions when given enough information.

An Objective point of view is when the narrator assumes the position of an observer, detached from the narrative. Faulkner decidedly chose this point of view to intimately show how gossips think. Only from this view could we hear their negative thoughts they have of Emily. The town gives the reader an impression of our main character. “When miss Emily Grierson died, our whole town went to her funeral: the men through a sort of respectful affection for a fallen monument”(21). Emily coming from a well known popular family the town was always concerned with the family’s actions.

After many generations the town began to lose hope in the family because of their attitude. With the town losing hope in the family it gives us the point of view that Emily Grierson is not an icon in the town, but is indeed a fallen monument. The use of gossip was told in many first person character speculations. When the town learns that Miss Emily had purchased arsenic, they started to gossip by saying, “So the next day we all said, ‘She will kill herself’; Then we said, ‘She will persuade him yet’ Miss Emily could have purchased the arsenic to kill herself, because of the lack of love, or to kill Homer Barron to keep him with her.

When Emily buys the arsonic“for rats” the issues begins to seem clearer; it’s ironic for her to buy arsenic for rats because the town is always talking about her ratting on her. We begin to understand that Emily is not all there, and had issues letting things go. Nevertheless the town complains that the Griersons “held themselves a little too high. ” But even this criticism is softened: Recalling when Miss Emily and her father rode through the town the narrator grudgingly admits “a tradition, a duty, and a care; a sort of hereditary obligation upon the town” (29).

With the tradition of the Grierson’s they would not pay their taxes showing how they considered themselves better than the rest of the town. “I received the papers, yes Miss Emily said. Perhaps he considers himself the sheriff…I have no taxes in the town of Jefferson. ” (22) The narration style gives us this point of view that Miss Emily was a sad, and disturbed woman. The narrator is present for all the scenes that take place in the story, but does not play any role in the events, and speaks for the town as a whole.

By using the “we” narrator, Faulkner creates a sense of closeness between readers and his story. The narrator-as-the-town judges Miss Emily as a fallen monument, but simultaneously as a lady who is above reproach, who is too good for the common townspeople, and who holds herself superior. With Faulkner limiting his narration to omniscience he is able to tell the story as a mystery; this is both logical as the story is told by the town not the main character. With the town it gives the reader drama, and suspense to the story.

While the narrator obviously admires her townspeople resent her arrogance and her superiority; longing to place her on a pedestal above everyone else, at the same time they wish to see her dragged down in disgrace. Many things separate the Griersons from the common townspeople, but it was Emily arrogance that makes people despise her. Once the rest of the community begins to lose hope for Emily they begin considering her as an “eyesore” giving the reader the imagery that she had let herself go. The home of Miss Emily is a symbol of wealth which reflects the idea that communities single out and isolate others on their economic status.

The narrator assumes an objective viewpoint, allowing the reader to know what is occurring be describing it from the outside. Although Miss Emily’s inner thoughts are not revealed, the narrator has still expressed her Struggles. She plans to murder this becomes clear, and her inability to let go of the people who she loved. This story would not be reliable from Emily Griersons point of view because we know she is not mentally stable. When Emily’s father had died she would not let the body be taken for a few days claiming her father isn’t dead. With no trace of grief on her face. She told them that her father was not dead. She did that for three days. ” (23)’ The narrator specifically leaves out any comments of sadness or grief the town might have felt, either to focus on their obsession with gossip or simply because they didn’t feel anything at all. With an insane main character the reader knows that the town is the most reliable source of narration.

Even though we are giving first person gossip; in the end it becomes clear that Emily did kill Homer Baron and would sleep next to his body being a necrophiliac. That faint and invisibly dust dry and acrid in the nostrils, we saw a long strand of iron gray hair. ” (26) Proving that Emily would sleep next to dead people. This shows the negative, realistic form that gossip takes as the townspeople watch Miss Emily’s life intently only for the purpose of criticizing and judging her. The story finishes with the dramatic close in which the townspeople go into Emily’s house and find Homer Barron’s dead body in one of the bedrooms. The narrator starts the story with death and ends with death, focusing not on the happy, fulfilling aspects of life, but only on the dramatic.

A Rose for Emily has a very interesting and deep point of view. There is no purpose or reason for the town of Jefferson to have issues with the Grierson. Faulkner taught many lessons with Emily’s life, but none so clear as the cruel and heartless feeling that is gossiping. He ends this fabled story and then we are called to wonder why it is titled “A Rose for Emily” when no roses are mentioned, and especially not for Emily. She died and the town went to her funeral, not out of charity and not leaving even a single rose for her.

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