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What is the exposition, climax, rising action, falling action, and resolution of...

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ayfr | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 17, 2009 at 7:37 PM via web

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What is the exposition, climax, rising action, falling action, and resolution of "A Rose for Emily"?

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troutmiller | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted January 18, 2009 at 12:35 AM (Answer #1)

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This story is told almost backwards with its use of flashbacks. So the way to examine it's plot sections is also backwards.  The exposition of the story would be when the author introduces her father and we see his personality and her background.  We know the characters involved and the conflict.  Emily is too good for any man, according to her father, so he keeps her from dating/marrying.  Then he dies, which is another conflict for her--being alone.  This carries on throughout the story.  She does not want to be left.

The rising action involves most of the rest of the storyline including the town's attitude towards her and her fling with Homer.  Even the part where she buys the arsenic and the house smells something awful.  The town even spreads lime around the house to help keep the smell down.

The climax is not until the last few lines of the story when we find Homer's body and one of her gray hairs on the pillow next to his corpse.  We realize that she had poisoned him so he wouldn't leave, (and that was the awful smell earlier) and that she has been lying with him ever since.

The falling action is about a decade before she dies when they try to get her tax money from her.  She holds them off, though.  And the resolution then is the really at the beginning when she is introduced at her own funeral.

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