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What is the chronological order of events in "A Rose for Emily"?

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victoria12345 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 26, 2009 at 9:28 AM via web

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What is the chronological order of events in "A Rose for Emily"?

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mrs-campbell | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted February 26, 2009 at 11:11 AM (Answer #1)

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This question is harder to answer than one might think. Faulkner, in telling his story out of order, doesn't make it easy; it takes a very close reading of the novel in order to figure out the real order of major events. Faulkner slips in little clues here and there like "it was ten years later" or "no one saw Miss Emily for six months"; using those clues, you can piece it together. In a nutshell, here are some of the major events, in order of actual occurrence: 1. Her father dies; people finally convince her to give up the body. 2. Homer Barron arrives in town; people see her riding around in her carriage with him. 3. The aunts come, Emily buys toiletries with Homer's initials, AND arsenic. 4. The aunts leave, and Homer returns after being gone for 3 days, only to disappear forever. 5. The smell; lime is applied. 6. She isn't seen for a while; she gives painting lessons occasionally. 7. The aldermen visit about taxes, unsuccessfully. 8. Emily dies. I hope that helps, and if there are any details I missed, hopefully you can tell where to fit them in.

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