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Death and Decay in A Rose for Emily, a Short Story by William Faulkner


The Subtleties of Death

In “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner, the supreme fate of Miss Emily and her lover are foreshadowed by downplayed components in the text, such as descriptions of Miss Emily and her community, occasions in her life, and community gossip.

The description of Miss Emily and her environments implies that the ending includes death and decay. For instance, Miss Emily’s home is referred to as “lifting its stubborn and coquettish decay” (281 ). From the beginning, the sexual nature of rotting is exposed. The unusual usage of the word “coquettish” to describe wear and tear implies their considerable relationship later in the text. Additionally, the description of Miss Emily in the later years, with “hair of an active male” personifies Homer Barron whose existence has been fulfilled entirely by her imagination and perseverance (288 ). Juxtaposed after Faulkner reveals that Homer vanishes, this detail mean the deep involvement Miss Emily has with Homer. The information of the house and herself visualize a future of perish and ownership, causing the belief that there is more to the story other than a bad, lonely lady.

The jumbled sequence of the occasions conveys viewpoints from different time periods of the story, providing insight on occasions that have already taken place. For example, in the discussion between the druggist and Miss Emily, she declares, “I desire arsenic”, and refuses to declare why (286 ). This occasion is one of lots of that appears suspicious and does not disclose its significance right away. Chronologically putting this scene after the funeral and the reference of the smell adds to the mystique aura of Miss Emily’s character development. Furthermore, when Faulkner describes Miss Emily’s relations with her neighbors, he points out that she “had overcome their dads thirty years before about the odor” (283 ). Although the specifics of the odor are not stated, its reference raises questions about future occasions of the story. It enables consideration for the reason for the smell and its connection to future events. Lastly, when Faulkner composes “Which was the last we saw of Homer Barron,” the elements from previous parts of the story gain more significance and significance (287 ). Stressed by the time that passes in between Homer Barron’s relocation into your home and Miss Emily’s death, Homer’s disappearance advances from a short lived concern to an odd circumstance. Due to its delayed look in the text, this quote implies more about the odor discussed in the beginning of the story, and leads the reader to expect the death of Homer. The next time the area sees Miss Emily after Homer’s disappearance is when her hair is gray and she has grown much fatter. Definitive from the evidence of the uncommon appearance of Miss Emily and the increasingly unusual incident of the Negro, the fate of Mr. Barron appears grim.

The ending of “A Rose for Emily” is unexpected due to the subtle nature of the foreshadowing details. From first impression, details about Miss Emily’s look, house, and the discussion do not acquire significance till connected to the last paragraph, where it is exposed that Homer Barron has actually been dead for over forty years. When the whole reality is known, these information become more common in the structure of the story.

“A Rose for Emily” contains many aspects throughout the text that recommend the ending of the story through the filter of her area chatter circle. Although the truth is not described up until the last paragraph, the abundance of context hints clarified the reality of Miss Emily and Homer Barron, explaining how managing subtleties of life can cause a misconception of the larger picture.

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