In the short story "A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner, how is the point of view related to the plot structure?What might be the rationale for dividing the story into five distinct...

In the short story "A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner, how is the point of view related to the plot structure?

What might be the rationale for dividing the story into five distinct sections and for violating narrative chronology?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily," the narrative is told from the point of view of several members of the town, with perhaps one acting as voice for them.  And, since different opinions on Emily are submitted at different times, the narrative chronology is disturbed.  But, this is how memory works:  ideas come at random times, or when one memory prompts another.

In fact, memory forms the structure of Faulkner's story since the story begins with the description of Emily's funeral, which is actually a flashback since the story ends with the townspeople's discovery of the corpse in her house after the funeral.  Also, through the foreshadowing of memory, and the isolated, bizarre episodes such as Emily's refusal to bury her father and the purchase of rat poison, the author prepares the reader for the grotesque discovery, thereby lending verisimilitude and a shocking climax to the gothic atmosphere of the narrative.

 

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