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In "A Rose for Emily" does the climax occur when Homer is found dead, when the...

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amahoney0209 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 4, 2012 at 3:50 AM via web

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In "A Rose for Emily" does the climax occur when Homer is found dead, when the smell emanates from the house, or when a gray hair is found on the pillow?  

William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily"

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 2) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 4, 2012 at 6:09 AM (Answer #1)

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With the climax as the point of greatest emotional interest or suspense in a narrative, Faulkner's non-chronological plot makes the identification of this element of the short story somewhat more difficult.  Nevertheless, interest in the reader is greatly piqued in Section IV after Emily has purchased the arsenic "for rats" and the smell emanates from the house.

When Emily's cousins depart after having come to talk to Emily, Homer Barron is seen again in town.  However, this is the last time Homer is seen. And, after having bought an engraved toilet set in silver for a man, and a complete outfit of men's clothing, Emily is not seen, either.

Then we knew that this was to be expected, too; as if that quality of her father which had thwarted her woman's life so many times had been to virulent and too furious to die.

Indeed, there is a much mystery to Emily's life, mystery that is only solved at the conclusion of the narrative when the townspeople discover the source of the malodorous smell as well as the reason for Miss Emily's purchase of the arsenic.

 

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