In "A Rose for Emily" how does the author's choice of particular points of view help communicate a central theme of the story?What kind of argument can I use in my paper to show that the...

In "A Rose for Emily" how does the author's choice of particular points of view help communicate a central theme of the story?

What kind of argument can I use in my paper to show that the narrators' points of view are essential to the audience's recognizing and understanding the theme?

Expert Answers
mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

To merely add to the above cogent points, the fact that the narrators are the townspeople is also important because they view Emily in much the same way that they perceive the house:

Only Miss Emily's house was left, lifting its stubborn and coquettish decay above the cotton wagon....

When the aldermen call upon Emily the description of Emily's person does not differ too greatly from that of her house:

...when they sat down, a faint dust rose sluggishly about...They rose when she entered--a small, fat woman in black, with a thin gold chain descending to her waist...leaning on an ebony cane with a tarnished gold head.

That the narrators equate Emily with the old house and know of the past life of the town helps establish the theme of Old South vs. New South in the story.

M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The story is narrated basically by the townsmen and women themselves.  The reason is because the story then comes out as a tale that someone from right there is telling you (the reader) the way that townspeople go about telling each other town gossip, or town news.

This is imperative, therefore to make the reader understand the essence of the story, the culture of the town, the change of times, and the feelings and emotions of those involved. If you hear this story from a 3rd person narrator which is detached from the story, it will read like pure fiction.

In this case, the fact that "one of the townsfolk" is telling the story, the reading switches from fiction to realistic fiction, and invites the reader to be "one of them", and a part of the action.

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A Rose for Emily

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