A Rose for Emily Questions and Answers
by William Faulkner

A Rose for Emily book cover
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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 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...

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