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I think there is a mood of depression and sadness throughout "A Rose for Emily." One way Faulkner does this is by the story's structure. He begins with Emily's death. Then he flashes back and forth through time illustrating the bleak nature of Emily's life (how she refuses to pay property taxes, how her love abandons her, how her father monopolizes her life and dies leaving her with next to nothing, her defiance of kowtowing to the ways of the town and its people). Then he brings the story full circle with the final segment in which we learn that Emily has - most likely - murdered her love and kept his corpse in her bedroom all of these and slept beside him.
The point of view, told from an unidentified first person narrator, also influences the mood of desperation and sadness. For it is through this narrator that we learn how people feel sorry for Emily, yet she is never aware of this. We also learn how pathetic her plight really is, yet Emily doesn't feel this way nor is she aware of it. All of these tie into the mood.
Faulkner develops mood by setting a scene which is both familiar yet unknown. He creates a landscape that the readers can identify with and gives it a strong sense of history. Throughout this setting, he weaves interesting and colourful characters.
The narrator which is in the first person collective, is almost a character in itself. The narrator is sympathetic to both the townspeople and Miss Emily. Therefore the mood created is intimate and trusted.
Finally, Faulkner uses flashbacks and weaves the pieces of the story around the flashbacks. Then the narrator foreshadows the events which are to come creating the mood of somberness throughout the story. By using this technique the reader pieces together the bits of the story.
Faulkner reveals the story of Miss Emily with a series of flashbacks and foreshadowing-that do no connect in a chronological format.While the flashbacks certainly connect to one another, the reader is not given all the clues until the end of the story, making it that much more powerful.Foreshadowing does give the reader a sense of expectation for what is yet to come. The tone of mystery is kept constant by using these devices.
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