Faulkner uses a number of gothic elements in this plot. HOw do these elements forward the plot and establish the atmosphere?

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coachingcorner | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

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Faulkner uses a number of gothic elements in the plot of 'A Rose For Emily' and these elements add to the drama and suspense and also help the readers' minds to carry the action forward in their minds by suggesting doubts, making a creepy atmosphere where anything is possible and weaving tension and suspense. These elements forward the plot by sparking the reader's own imagination and often imagination is more vividly fired by our fears. For example, a big creepy dark neglected old house where no one is ever seen leaving is more likely to be be suspected of having dubious occupants. Add to that an old lady, some townsfolk gossip, some bad sour memories or grudges and the author has successfully created a fertile garden - all Faulkner then had to do was to sow the seeds of suspicion.

Gothic tales are often associated with loneliness, isolation, mystery and mystique coupled with a Romantic and moody backdrop so look for evidence of these and cite them when trying to establish the atmosphere. Also look into Emily's background and the history of her family in the town and ask whether isolated townspeople are more likely to jump to judgemental conclusions when they hear from others that they may have cause. Faulkner foreshadows the gruesome discovery by first outlining the way Emily kept her own father's body for three days - a perfect scenario for that kind of setting, for example.


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