The short story, A Rose for Emily, by William Faulkner, has quite an exciting plot with immense flashbacks. The story focuses on Emily Grierson. At a tender age, Emily faced isolation from her father. The townspeople thought Emily to be a tradition, although others found her arrogant. However, the character suffered a mental breakdown after the death of her father. Another character introduced in the story is Homer Barron, who is a laborer and is charged with the construction of sidewalks. Emily is interested in the laborer, although the townspeople claim that Homer was a low-life for Emily (Faulkner 30). After a few years, Emily dies, and the townspeople find a skeleton of a man's head on Emily's bed. Most townspeople assume that the skeleton is Homer Barron. The plot of the story starts and ends with Emily's death. Mainly, this paper analyzes the plot of the story, A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner, by discussing the four elements of plot in the narrative that includes exposition, rising action, climax, and resolution.
The structure of the story, A Rose for Emily, has five parts. The sections have events that are not in chronological order. The beginning of the story commences with the death of Emily. However, the main action, as told by the author, is in the form of retrospect and follows the life that Emily lived in Jefferson. In addition to that, the story includes the significant elements of a plot that include exposition, rising action, falling action, climax, and resolution. The items are jumbled, considering that the events are in chronological order. First, the story's title, A Rose for Emily, is a significant factor to consider in plot analysis. A look at the title would make one presume that a rose would appear in the narrative, which is not the case. Instead, the rose was symbolic. Roses are not only used in happy occasions but also in sad events such as funerals or tragedies. The title symbolized the tragic life of Emily, who was charged with the mandate of taking care of her selfish father. Eventually, this prevented Emily from leading a healthy life that includes completing her education, getting married, and having children. The start of the story is an exposition set at the funeral of the main character, Emily. As Harris argued, exposition in literature is the beginning section of the plot where the background information on the characters and the situation is made clear to a reader (pp. 170). The exposition is the death of Emily and the community's memories and thoughts about her as a tradition.
The middle section of the narrative comprises of backstories, which are the events that happened before the narration time. Such events, as Harris argued, form the rising action. The rising action in the story focuses on the life that Emily resided in a small town (pp. 173). Importantly, the narrator starts by describing the death of Emily's father and the effects it had on the character. Besides, the narrator is keen to include some gossip element. Emily had refused to bury his father. Eventually, she fell to depression. Emily could not clean up her house and surroundings leading to a stench emanating from her property. Mainly, this prompted men to sprinkle lime in Emily's estate to cover the smell. Foreshadowing elements are evident in the plot considering that the depression and odor that emanated from Emily's property happened two years after the death of her father. Additionally, the author describes to a reader how Emily's father chased away most of her suitors with claims that they did not match her level (Faulkner 25). However, soon after the death of Emily's father, the character developed a relationship with a man. From this, it is clear that the author reserved the middle section of the story to describe Emily's life, which did not have a happy-ending as already mentioned in the beginning section.
Lastly, the final section of the story could be viewed as an extended falling action, which is also an element of a plot story. The section covers over 40years after Emily purchased the rat poison. Most townspeople presume that Emily would end her life with the rat poison. The character's relatives leave the house to Alabama. Homer, a laborer that Emily appeared to like, was the one seen to have entered Emily's house the last time. The narrator describes the state of Emily's house in this section. The townspeople had gone to clean Emily's house after she died. However, they found the skeleton of a man believed to be Homer. The rat poison that Emily had purchased initially was not for her to kill herself but rather for the death of Homer. The stench that the townspeople gossiped about turned out to be emanating from Homer's body that was kept in Emily's house. Emily slept in the same bed with a dead man, which forms the climax of the story (Faulkner 36). Resolution appears in the story where Emily's well recognizable hair is found on the pillow beside Homer. It becomes clear to a reader that Emily murdered Homer to prevent him from leaving.
In summation, this paper analyzes the plot of the story, A Rose for Emily, by William Faulkner. The story begins with an exposition describing the death of Emily, the main character. The middle section of the play has the rising action element of a plot, which describes Emily's life with her father. The final section contains details of climax and resolution, where the narrator describes Emily's home after her death. Mainly, the plot of the story includes all elements of the plot, rising action, exposition, climax, and resolution.
Faulkner, William. A Rose for Emily, and Other Stories. Tokyo: Nanun-do, 1965. Print.
Harris, Paul A. "In search of dead time: Faulkner's 'A Rose for Emily." KronoScope, vol. 7, no. 2, Dec. 2007, pp. 169-183. doi:10.1163/156852407X249025.
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