January 20, 2010
In William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily” (29-35), Faulkner immediately sets the tone for the story. He expresses the respect and loyalty the town of Jefferson had for Miss Emily. Faulkner wants the reader to realize Miss Emily is a respectful woman who bonded with everyone in this town. Divided into five sections, Faulkner reflects on the downfall of Emily Grierson’s life.
The narrator first describes Miss Emily’s house in Jefferson as it has fallen in disrepair and has become “an eyesore among eyesores”. After Emily’s father died, Faulkner began to describe Emily’s downfall. She is “a small fat woman who looks bloated and has eyes which look lost in the fatty ridges of her face”.
Faulkner wants the reader to suspect what happened between Emily and Homer after her cousins left. She is growing old, gaining weight and is barely seen outside of her house, letting the reader further more think about what really happened between that time span. After Emily dies, the Jefferson women come to Emily’s house out of curiousity. Faulkner traces suspense all the way to the last paragraph where Homer is found dead on a bed in a nightshirt Emily bought him. Come to find out, the narrator finds a long strand of iron-gray hair lying on a pillow beside the corpse. It is implied that Emily killed Homer and laid in the bed with his corpse up to her own death.