“A Rose for Emily” is a well thought out short story by William Faulkner published on April 30, 1931. This short story is told from the townspeople of Jefferson (first-person) to create a point of view to be able to see from the outside of the situation getting an insight on reality of the plot. At the beginning of “A Rose for Emily,” Faulkner immediately sets a tone.
When Miss Emily Grierson died, our whole town went to the funeral: the men through a sort of respectful affection for a fallen monument, the women mostly out of curiosity to see the inside of her house, which no one save an old manservant – a combined gardener and cook – had seen in at least ten years”(Faulkner 30). This brings curiosity of why Emily never came outside of her house and shows that something had happened; the killing of Homer Barron.
Faulkner puts literary elements to good use, especially point of view and atmosphere. Faulkner speaks from an Omniscient point of view, which is an all knowing narrator with multiple perspectives and an Objective point of view which is a detached observer. The story begins with Miss Emily passing away which gives the reader an insight into the main character by giving a hint of the stories plot. Using an objective point of view leads the reader to make conclusions and interpret the story when have read all the needed information.
Writing in an Omniscient point of view gives you an insight coming from the outside looking in on all of the characters perspectives. This brings to what the townspeople think about Miss Emily, and why the townspeople act the way they act when Emily has passed. If this story would have came from Miss Emily’s point of view, the short story would have been perceived quite differently. Miss Emily was delirious, the least to say, behind the closed doors.
If told from Emily, the story would have been of much more confusion and would have gave the main purpose of this story away. Faulkner leads his audience on with curiosity of what happens to Homer Barron. If told from Emily, there would not be a curious plot in this story. Faulkner describes the characters and places with terms, giving more detail for the reader to interpret throughout the story. “Alive, Miss Emily had been a tradition, a duty, and a care; a sort of hereditary obligation upon the town…”(Faulkner 30).
Explaining that Emily, the main character, was an old human being and was an asset towards the townspeople and their curiosity. Her lover Homer Barron is introduced as,” a big, dark, ready man…”(Faulkner 32). Faulkner explains the home as “an eyesore among eyesores”(Faulkner 30 ), and the cemetery where Emily is put to rest as, “anonymous graves of Union and Confederate soldiers who fell at the battle of Jefferson”(35 ). All of these explained elements come together to describe Faulkner’s theme created throughout the story.
In “A Rose for Emily,” the atmosphere goes between past and present. “The atmosphere is one of distortion-of unreality. This unreal world results from the suspension of a natural time order”(Ray B. West Jr. paragraph 3). This sense of atmosphere brings confusion throughout the audience making the audience crave curiosity about the main point; making the audience want to dig deeper down into the plot of the short story.
Curiosity is always a major key concept to making a short story affective towards an audience and towards the atmosphere. …as in “A Rose for Emily,” the atmosphere becomes one of horror” (Ray B. West Jr. paragraph 3). At the beginning of “A Rose for Emily” you would have never guessed that this short story would lead to an event of horror. First reading “A Rose for Emily” gives the audience a sense of mystery. It is not proceeded as horror until the final deed of death has been committed. Giving the set tone as a mystery absorbs our shock to finding out what had been happening with Emily and Homer.
One of atmosphere’s elements is foreshadowing in which prepares us for Emily’s actions at the end of “A Rose For Emily. ” Point of View and Atmosphere, as you can see, are major elements in bringing a story together and memorable. Without careful thinking and detail among these elements, the story will not be completely designed as needed to catch the attention and memory of the story from your audience. Performing these elements in detail will give a story recognition and appreciate on a well written piece of work.