What details foreshadow the conclusion in the story of "A Rose For Emily"?

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The longer answer to this question is that the entire history of Emily in the town is a foreshadowing of something gruesome and/or tragic that will be her destiny. Emily's life is a paradigm of the isolated, single woman in a traditional and male-dominated society. Her attachment to her father...

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The longer answer to this question is that the entire history of Emily in the town is a foreshadowing of something gruesome and/or tragic that will be her destiny. Emily's life is a paradigm of the isolated, single woman in a traditional and male-dominated society. Her attachment to her father is unusual, and she becomes reclusive, defying the conventional norms of activity expected of her. The town of Jefferson looks upon her as an oddity, and an embarrassment.

The relationship with Homer, which should be a good thing, is actually a signal that something catastrophic will occur. Emily's buying poison, supposedly to rid the house of rats, and the smell people begin to notice around it, coincide with the disappearance of Homer, though he is an outsider anyway and no one thinks anything of the fact that he is no longer on the scene.

These elements in the story are the specific foreshadowing of Emily's tragic ending. Faulkner brings together gothic themes with the traditional portrayal of an unhappy "spinster" and merges them in turn with a symbolism about the society of the Old South which is becoming an obsolete world. All of these thematic strains contribute to the general sense of foreboding that dominates this trenchant story.

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In "A Rose For Emily," Faulkner uses lots of examples of foreshadowing to hint to the reader that Emily has poisoned Homer Barron and hidden his corpse inside her home.

The first example comes with the use of the word "decay" to describe Emily's home. This word is strongly suggestive of death, particularly the physical decomposition of a body, and, therefore, hints that a murder will take place.

Secondly, the smell which emanates from Emily's home is another example of foreshadowing because it implies that something unusual is going on.

In addition, Emily's refusal to accept her father's death and to cling on to his body also foreshadows the story's conclusion. Just like her father, Emily will later cling to the body of Homer Barron.

Finally, Emily's purchase of arsenic provides another strong hint at what will happen to Homer Barron. You'll notice that the druggist questions Emily about why she wants the poison and she is very reluctant to discuss it. For the reader, this is a clear sign that Emily has some sinister purpose in mind.

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At the conclusion of the short story, the town members finally knock down the upstairs door in Emily's home to a room that nobody had seen in forty years. Faulker then describes the mysterious room that was fitted for a bridal party. There were various wedding gifts and clothes that were covered in dust throughout the room. On the bed, a man's skeleton is lying down, and the pillow next to the skeleton has an indentation in it. There are also traces of Emily's iron-grey hair on the pillow which suggests that she had been sleeping next to Homer's dead skeleton.

There are several pieces of evidence that foreshadow this conclusion throughout the short story. To begin with, the reader knows that Emily's great-aunt Wyatt had gone completely crazy later on in life, which foreshadows Emily's insanity. Emily also buys arsenic, which foreshadows that she will kill Homer Barron. The stench that comes from her home suggests that Homer is indeed dead and is decaying in Emily's home. Also, Emily's refusal to acknowledge her father's death foreshadows her feelings towards Homer's death. She refuses to acknowledge that Homer has died and continues to sleep next to him each night.

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Author William Faulkner foreshadows much of the events that occur in "A Rose for Emily," particularly through the use of flashbacks. He begins in the first paragraph when, in mentioning Emily's funeral, he shows the women of Jefferson's "curiosity to see the inside of her house." The curiosity that Faulkner introduces about "the smell" pervades throughout the story. The stench that surrounds the property is much too strong to be a dead rat, but the townspeople (and the reader) can not be expected to assume the true cause. Emily's refusal to allow her father's body to be removed from the house for three days following his death foreshadows the presence of Homer's own body in the bedroom. Another strong example of foreshadowing appears when Emily purchases arsenic--strong enough to "kill anything up to an elephant"--to kill rats (or, in this case, the rat, Homer, who spurns her wedding advances). The fact that Homer is seen entering Emily's house but never leaving is another example.

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