In "A Rose for Emily": Did they heighten any interest? Does the story to you seem totally grim, or do you find any humor in it? Explain.

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Interesting question—I think the first part is asking you whether any interest is heightened by the choice of narrative form, perspective, and chronology of this story. You might take the opportunity here to explain the effect of Faulkner's decision to narrate the events of the story in a non-linear fashion....

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Interesting question—I think the first part is asking you whether any interest is heightened by the choice of narrative form, perspective, and chronology of this story. You might take the opportunity here to explain the effect of Faulkner's decision to narrate the events of the story in a non-linear fashion. Why does he choose to begin the story with Emily's death? Arguably, this definitely heightens our interest as readers, because we, like the gawking townsfolk, are now interested to know who this old lady is and why she is of importance to the town. As the story goes on, there are other elements which appear, at first, without explanation, such as the strange smell at Emily's house, which the people of the town cover up with lime and which heighten our interest further. Part of us, as readers, knows that this is implying something about a dead body. Other elements which heighten interest by suggesting much but confirming nothing include Emily's purchase of poison and the sudden disappearance of Barron.

The issue of humor in the story is interesting, too. Do you find it to be funny at any point? Personally I don't think it is a funny story, but I don't know that "grim" is the word for it, either. Emily's life is rather tragic from beginning to end: she suffers somewhat at the hands of her father and then loses her only prospect, Homer Barron. For whatever reason, she feels compelled to kill him. However, you could argue that the perspective of the story allows it to remain somewhat lighthearted. There is gentle criticism, for example, in the suggestion that the people of the town view Emily as a "fallen monument" and in Emily's assertion that she has "no taxes in Jefferson," regardless of what she is told. You may wish, then, to explore how the tone of the story allows it to remain lighthearted to an extent, despite the grim subject matter.

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