Plot Structure of “A Rose for Emily”. Essential Question: What did Faulkner accomplish by writing his story nonlinearly? (YOU WANT TO BE ABLE TO ANSWER THIS QUESTION BY THE END OF THESE NOTES!). Plot of Plot of “A Rose for Emily”.
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Plot Structure of “A Rose for Emily” Essential Question: What did Faulkner accomplish by writing his story nonlinearly? (YOU WANT TO BE ABLE TO ANSWER THIS QUESTION BY THE END OF THESE NOTES!)
Plot of Plot of “A Rose for Emily” • By taking apart Faulkners story we are able to see the genius of the plot structure
Plot of Plot of “A Rose for Emily”: Linear Timeline Section II Her father dies, and for three days she refuses to acknowledge his death. Section III Homer Barron arrives in town and begins to court Miss Emily. Section IV She buys a man’s silver toilet set—a mirror, razor, brush & comb—and men’s clothing. Section III The town relegates her to disgrace and sends for her cousins. Section IV The cousins arrive, and Homer leaves town. Section IV Three days after the cousins leave, Homer returns. Section III Miss Emily buys poison at the local drug store. Section IV Homer disappears. Section II A horrible stench envelops Miss Emily’s house. Section II Four town aldermen secretly sprinkle lime on her lawn. ect…(see you flow chart for the rest)
Plot of Plot of “A Rose for Emily” • But reconstructing the plot in a linear fashion renders Faulkner’s masterpiece an injustice • Let’s find out why…
Plot of Plot of “A Rose for Emily” • Let’s look at the central events chronologically: • Miss Emily’s Father dies and she wants to keep his body • Miss Emily buys poison • Homer Barron disappears suddenly • A horrible stench surrounds the house • It is apparent why she buys the poison, and what causes the stench—she killed Homer! • There is no mystery about what happened to Homer and what the smell is
Plot of “A Rose for Emily” • When we continue to look chronologically at the remaining events after Homer’s death, the story is quite dull: • Emily isn’t seen for 6 months • Emily gives china painting lessons • Men see her about her taxes • She dies…
Plot of Plot of “A Rose for Emily” • When we take the plot apart, the only surprise we are left with is at the end and the shocking realization that Miss Emily has slept for many years in the same bed with her dead lover’s rotting corpse. • The horror of this knowledge makes the murder of Homer almost insignificant when compared to the necrophilia. • Necrophilia:a morbid attraction toward corpses
Plot of Plot of “A Rose for Emily” • If the story was written in a linear fashion, half way through the story, the reader would know that Emily obviously murdered Homer • But because we only get bits of the story at random times, the story acts like a murder mystery
Plot of Plot of “A Rose for Emily” • At the end of the story, the reader is not only shocked that Emily murdered Homer, but they are horrified to find she was sleeping with his dead body as well • The end is dual--climatic (double whammy climax)
Plot of Plot of “A Rose for Emily” • The greatness of the story lies not making the plot linear • Instead it is great because Faulkner leaves us horrified as we discover, bit by bit, the mystery of Emily Grieson’s life • The reader experiences an epiphany (an ah ha! moment of realization)
What Does the Title Mean?Why Plot of “A Rose for Emily” • Let me hear your ideas…
William Faulkner speaks on “A Rose for Emily” in 1955: • I feel sorry for Emily's tragedy; her tragedy was, she was an only child, an only daughter. At first when she could have found a husband, could have had a life of her own, there was probably some one, her father, who said, "No, you must stay here and take care of me." And then when she found a man, she had had no experience in people. She picked out probably a bad one, who was about to desert her. And when she lost him she could see that for her that was the end of life, there was nothing left, except to grow older, alone, solitary; she had had something and she wanted to keep it, which is bad--to go to any length to keep something;
but I pity Emily. I don't know whether I would have liked her or not, I might have been afraid of her. Not of her, but of anyone who had suffered, had been warped, as her life had been probably warped by a selfish father . . . . [The title] was an allegorical title; the meaning was, here was a woman who had had a tragedy, an irrevocable tragedy and nothing could be done about it, and I pitied her and this was a salute . . . to a woman you would hand a rose.
Complete you C-Notes • 4: Level One Questions • 3: Level Two Question • 2: Level Three Questions • Use the column provided • Space your questions throughout the entire length of your notes • Write a 5 sentence summary and make sure you can answer the essential question from the front page!