Sunday, September 12, 2010

"A Rose for Emily"

Blog about "A Rose for Emily."  What is the point of view of the story? Who is telling this story?  How is this unusual?  Why would Faulkner select this point of view?  How does the point of view fit with the theme of the story?  What specific lines in the story give you clues about who is telling the story? Quote them and include page numbers.  

As I read "A Rose for Emily", the narrator is an observer, "a minor character standing a little to one side, watching a story unfold that mainly involves someone else" (30).  Several reasons why I believed the narrator is considered an observer because through the story, I noticed that he or she did not mention their name.  When the narrator did mentions him or herself in the story, the narrator wrote how he or she was in a group. For example, the story started out when Miss Emily Grierson died, and "our whole town went to her funeral:..." (33).  This means that there was little involvement on the narrator behalf.  The narrator did not have a direct influence on the outcome of the story.  This will lead to another point that I felt. Not only the narrator was an observer, the narrator was a member of the community who knew or grew up with Emily for a very long time. As like Nick Carraway from The Great Gatsby, this narrator knew and heard stories about Miss Grierson, but the narrator did not knew Miss Grierson on the personal level. It seemed like the other characters in the story only knowledge her when the town needed to collect the tax from her.

Also, the narrator represented the one opinion of the entire town. The reason why I believed the narrator represent the entire view of the community on Emily because through the story, it was like a biography about Miss Grierson's life and how she ended up at the end of the story. The narrator told the story as if it was taken place over a certain amount of time. An example is when the mayor, Colonel Sartoris made an deal with Miss Grierson of how she does not have to pay taxes because she had made a loan to the town.  But "only a man of Colonel Sartoris' generation and thought could have invented...When the next generation, with its more modern ideas, became mayors and aldermen, this arrangement created some little dissatisfaction.  On the first of the year they mailed her a tax notice" (34). Again, there was a time period because a generation had pass. This gives me an idea that the narrator was someone who lived with Miss Grierson in the same town for a good amount of time.   Another example of how the narrator knew Emily for a while because he or she said how when Emily became sick for a long time and "when we saw her again, her hair was cut short, making her look like a girl, with a vague resemblance to those angels in color church windows-sort of tragic and serene" (37).

Being an observer as a narrator for a story like this fit with the theme of the story because the town did not really know Miss Grierson that well. This is the reason why Faulkner would use the observer as a narrator because being the observer gave the readers an idea of how much Miss Grierson was the outcast of the town.  Another example when the funeral happened, the women "mostly [came to the funeral] 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" (33).  Clearly, if no one had visited her in a decade, that either means that she did not want to communitate with the other members or did not have any friends in town.

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