Please account for the use of the pronoun "we" by the narrator.

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Jamie Wheeler eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Faulkner uses the pronoun "we" in order to indict the entire town in the shameful fate of Miss Emily. They ignore her basic human needs for companionship. "We all said, "She will kill herself"; and we said it would be the best thing." This is the crux of the author's accusations of the town's lack of empathy for a fellow human being.

Faulkner also uses the pronoun "our" frequently, even beginning the story with its use: "When Miss Emily died, our whole town went to her funeral," the narrator recalls. One would think initially that this indicated coherence and caring, but what follows is hardly the case.

cmcqueeney eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In addition, the use of 'we' identifies the narrator as one of the townspeople. By using this first person plural narrator, Faulkner creates the sense of a gossiping small town where Miss Emily's actions are watched intently, yet not fully understood until the end because the narrator is a group rather than an individual who could interact more personally with Miss Emily. This unusual use of point of view helps to create a shock effect as the disturbing truth is revealed at the conclusion of the work.

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A Rose for Emily

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