A Rose for Emily Questions and Answers
by William Faulkner

A Rose for Emily book cover
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How does the author use plot to create interest and suspense in "A Rose for Emily?"

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William Faulkner's short story "A Rose for Emily" paints a compelling portrait of a small town's fascination with their local "aristocrat," Miss Emily Grierson. The plot is engrossing in part because it is non-linear. It begins with Miss Emily's funeral, then meanders through different periods of her life in no particular order before returning to her funeral and what the townspeople find when they enter Miss Emily's house.

It's necessary for the reader to understand what Miss Emily means to the people of Jefferson so that the impact of their discovery can be fully appreciated. The Griersons were once a powerful family, but after the death of her father, Miss Emily fell upon hard times, so that, in Jefferson, she was seen as "a sort of hereditary obligation upon the town." She was cold and antisocial, and nobody really knew her, but the townspeople pitied her enough to accept her eccentricities.

Faulkner puts the reader in the same position, providing glimpses of Miss Emily without any...

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