I am confused. What is the development and the climax in "A Rose for Emily"?

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teachertaylor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The climax of "A Rose for Emily" occurs when it is found out that Emily has been sleeping with the body of Homer Barron.  At this point in the story, the community (and the reader) realizes the extent to which Emily's sheltered life has affected her.  The development, or rising action, towards this turning point occurs during the details given about Emily's life.  The death of her father, the purchase of the arsenic, and the ghastly smell around the house are all clues leading up to the discovery of Homer's body.  Her loneliness pushes Emily over the edge and the only resolution comes after the actual story is over--hopefully the community (and the reader) learns from Emily's plight.

bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

William Faulkner's short story, "A Rose for Emily," actually contains a double climax; or, a false climax followed by the real climax. Upon first reading, the initial climax appears to be the discovery of the skeletal remains of Homer Barron in the bed. But Faulkner follows this up with an even greater surprise: It is the indentation of a head on the pillow, and the single strand of iron grey hair, which reveals that Miss Emily has been sleeping along side him all these years. The development, as the previous post noted, are the events of Emily's life that leads up to this macabre conclusion.

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A Rose for Emily

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