Prancer Town gossip is some of the Juiciest and most important news in a small community, it’s like an invisible hand that gradually shifts public opinions, and usually becomes a unanimous view of the town. William Faulkner creatively uses first person communal view in his short story’A Rose For Emily” to create a tale narrated by the town’s collective opinion. The narration Is told out of chronological order but with a steady flow and quick plot build up giving the story even more of a town gossip feel.
Throughout the story the author creates a decaying motif and twists the saying-skeleton in the closest” Into a literal metaphor. The townspeople are onlookers to the decent of another citizen of their town, but they choose to watch her slowly fall and rarely approach her or try to help her. Faulkner’s point of view makes this even more effective since It creates a kind of commentary on Emily’s life. The story opens with the end, Emily Grierson’s funeral.
This allows the reader to assume that the remainder of the story will be about her life, when In fact the plot uilds up to the climatic scene after her burial. Faulkner creates this plot sequence with town gossip, all of the townspeople are remembering her life and recalling her downfall. Not only is it a unanimous telling, it may also be assumed that the story is watered down telling and general of what all the townspeople think or feel about Emily. Others may have had more radical or different opinions but the narration typically leaves out these outliers.
Through the eyes of the townspeople we get a very brief image of “Miss Emily’s” life. It seems that not many of them have really even spoken to her, just notice when she is out of the house or when she locks herself back in. The town watches her make an action and then assumes, for instance when she buys arsenic they all make the comment “‘She will kill herself’ and we said it would be the best thing”. To assume that she will kill herself for buying arsenic would seem to be a cue to help her, instead they almost silently encourage it.
The townspeople dont see her as a person; They see her as a source of entertainment, nd they emotionally distance themselves from her. They’re only onlookers to her life, the may offer financial support, like dismissing her taxes, but any other help they offer is superficial and without meaning behind it. Even when the women of the town prepared to “help” when Emily’s father died they quickly gave up giving her ald when she denied her father’s death. Most of the story she is referred to as “Miss Emily” and very rarely as a Grierson, only when It’s pertaining to her social standing.
Even hough being referred to Miss Emily might be a historical quirk It still distances the townspeople from her. With this communal view Faulkner empathizes the emotional dissonance of the townspeople have toward Emily’s life, but If the story was told from Emllys view the reader might experience a lonely girl with the world around her controlled with criticism at every turn. Faulkner also using a decaying motif throughout the story, applying It to MISS Emily and her environment, which compliments plot since Emily was falling from race.
The Imagery is Introduced early In the story, with her body ” She looked bloated, like a body long submerged in motionless water… ” and her house in a slmllar conaltlon “It smelled 0T oust ana Olsuse-a close, clank smell. “. Even tnougn tne townspeople dont see her often they still mention these details. Faulkner’s communal third person alienates the reader from Emily’s emotions through her life. The townspeople don’t see her as a person, instead they Judge her and rarely offer her companionship or help.