In "A Rose for Emily," does the author uses the riddle plot? If not, what kind of plot does he use?What plot of the 20 master plots does the author uses?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

    I don't believe William Faulkner was concerned with creating a specific, single plot structure in his masterpiece of a short story, "A Rose for Emily." The aforementioned "20 Master Plots and How to Build Them," by one Ronald Tobias, apparently breaks down all literary plot structures and reduces them to an even-Steven list of 20. I have not read his book, but I have reviewed the "Master List," and I can assure you that a work of Faulkner's quality and complexity cannot be so easily categorized.
    After perusing Tobias' list, certainly the "Riddle" plot would fit "A Rose for Emily," as would several others, including "Revenge," "Maturation," "Forbidden Love," and "Discovery." I suppose if Faulkner's story HAD to be reduced to such a simplified concept, then the "Riddle" tag might fit best of the bunch of 20. I dare say that Tobin's book is probably more of a how-to primer for a more diversified organizational approach to plot creation than a definitive categorical listing.
    For example, the novel "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" would probably include every single one of the "20 Master Plots" listed. So, the idea of naming one specific plot structure, even in a story as short as "A Rose for Emily," is a case of drastic oversimplification.
    Any other thoughts?

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A Rose for Emily

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