If the climax is when they find her body in her house, what is the falling action?what is the falling action after the climax?

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ms-mcgregor | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Actually, the climax is not when they find a body in her house. Most readers have figured out from various clues, that Emily had already killed Homer. She had bought arsenic, Homer disappears without a trace and the smell ( probably that of Homer's body) lingers around her home. In addition, her servant, afraid of what they will find, leaves the house immediately after the townspeople enter. The climax of the story is in the last line. As pmiranda points out:

Then we noticed that in the second pillow was the indentation of a head. One of us lifted something from it, and leaning forward, that faint and invisible dust dry and acrid in the nostrils, we saw a long strand of iron-gray hair." (Faulkner)

This is the final line of the story and the climax. The horror of discovering that Emily had been sleeping with Homer's dead body is the high point of the story. The shock leaves no need for falling action.

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pmiranda2857 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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The falling action would be when the townspeople search her house after she is dead and find the remains of Homer Barron.  The discovery of the skeletal remains of the Yankee reveal more information about Miss Emily, apparently a grey hair is found on the pillow next to the dead man, which leads to the assumption by the townspeople that Miss Emily must have slept next to the rotting corpse for all these years.

"The body had apparently once lain in the attitude of an embrace, but now the long sleep that outlasts love, that conquers even the grimace of love, had cuckolded him. What was left of him, rotted beneath what was left of the nightshirt, had become inextricable from the bed in which he lay; and upon him and upon the pillow beside him lay that even coating of the patient and biding dust.

Then we noticed that in the second pillow was the indentation of a head. One of us lifted something from it, and leaning forward, that faint and invisible dust dry and acrid in the nostrils, we saw a long strand of iron-gray hair." (Faulkner)

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