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Sample essay topic, essay writing: A Rose For Emily - 1407 words
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Faulkner's Plot Priority In "A Rose For Emily", by William Faulkner, plot plays an important role in how the story is played out. Faulkner does not use chronological order in this short story. Instead, he uses an order that has many twists and turns. It appears to have no relevance while being read, but in turn, plays an important role in how the story is interpreted by the reader. Why does Faulkner present the plot of this story in this manner? How does it affect the reader? What does the convoluted plot presentation do to this story? How might the story be different if the plot was presented in chronological order? These are a few questions that have come to my attention while reading this story. I would like to give my opinion on this backed by evidence from the story itself.
First, why does Faulkner present the plot in the way that he does? There can be numerous answers to this question, but I have narrowed it down to one simple answer. He presented the story in this way in order to keep the reader guessing and to also provide some sort of suspense. By Faulkner telling the story in the way that he does, the reader has no way of knowing what might be coming up next in the story. The last thing that a reader wants to do is read a boring story that is easy to predict. Faulkner keeps the reader from knowing what might happen next by not placing the events in the actual order that they occurred. He goes back and forth throughout Miss Emily's life
At the introduction and conclusion of the story, she is dead, while the body consists of the times when she was alive. The body of the story also jumps back and forth throughout Miss Emily's life. Faulkner brilliantly divided the story into five key parts, all taking place at some key period in her life. These parts are prime examples of how Faulkner jumps back and forth throughout Emily's lifetime. Part one begins with Emily's funeral while part two begins "thirty years before", "two years after her fathers death and a short time after her sweetheart", Homer Barron. (93) Part three begins with her meeting Homer. This is interesting because the part before takes place after he dies.
This also shows how Faulkner keeps one guessing with his unorthodox plot order. The next part talks of how Emily is planning to supposedly kill herself. It tells of how she buys the poison and of how rumor is going around that she plans on killing herself with it. The final part of the story goes back to Emily's funeral, but also reveals that Emily did not kill herself with the poison, but instead killed Homer with it. This totally surprised me as a reader, having no clue that it was possible for her to commit such a crime. After reading the story, it is easy to see why Faulkner told the story in the way that he did. He did it to keep the reader on his toes and to not let the reader be able to predict what might happen next.
Second, how does Faulkner's plot affect the reader? Faulkner is a brilliant writer due to the fact that he keeps the reader guessing throughout the whole story. Not once, while reading "A Rose for Emily" did I have a clue about what might happen next in the story. Sure, I thought I knew what was going to happen next, but I was never right. Faulkner kept me on my toes from the opening sentence until the concluding sentence. While reading the story one had to stay focused on when and where each part was taking place because Faulkner was changing the time period every chance that he could.
This story is one that needs to be read in a quiet room with no distractions available. If it is read without ones full attention, the reader will be left confused and without the full understanding of the story. With the many twists and turns throughout the story, one cannot afford to miss one single part. If so, it might be enough to ruin the whole outlook of the story as a whole. One way that Faulkner keeps the reader guessing is by just dropping someone out of the story completely and not mentioning of them until the end of the story. Take for example, Faulkner last mentions Homer Barron when he says, "And that was the last we saw of Homer Barron". (96) He does not talk of what happens to Homer or mention why he is gone. This leaves the reader confused and causes him to wonder of what might have happened to Homer. Faulkner keeps this suspense on the readers mind until the end when he reveals Homer or "what was left of him.." at the very end of the story.
(98) These are just a few of the examples of how the plot that Faulkner uses affects the reader. Next, what does the convoluted plot presentation do to this story? The convoluted plot presentation provides three things to this story that would not be present if this story was told differently. It makes the story exciting, suspenseful, and unique in different ways. The plot presentation makes the story exciting because it is like riding a roller coaster of literature. There are ups and downs, twists and turns, and loops and flips.
These all give the reader and interest and reason to keep reading. Whenever an author writes a paper he always wants to keep the reader interested as much as possible. Faulkner does a great job at this. Faulkner also provides an edge of suspense with the style of plot that he uses throughout the story. The element of suspense comes into affect more towards the end of the story, by answering the readers questions indirectly. For example, Faulkner does not mention Homer's name specifically at the end when they find the dead corpse.
He just calls Homer "The man himself."(98) He also adds an element of suspense at the very end when he mentions the indention of a head beside Homer's and also the finding of an "iron-gray hair."(98) These are just some examples of how Faulkner provides suspense throughout the end of the story. The reason that I stated that Faulkner's plot style is unique is because it is not often that one reads a piece of literature that is written in this way. Most short stories a told in chronological order, but Faulkner's way of writing in "A Rose for Emily" is a nice switch from the ordinary. Last, would the story be better if it was told in chronological order? To put things simply, this story would "suck" if it were told in chronological order. It would have no sense of suspense or excitement to it, and it would be very boring for the reader.
Faulkner's use of plot is what makes this story what it is. If Faulkner would not have told it the way he did, the story would just be a plain and boring story. But, by Faulkner adding his great writing style this plain story has turned into a great and exciting story. If told chronologically, the story would of started with Emily's father's death, then, taxes, Homer's arrival, the purchase of poison, Homer's disappearance, the develop of the odor, the alderman's visit, and the arrival of Emily's relatives. There are no real interesting points when the story is told in this manner. On the other hand, the way that it is told with the remit of taxes being first, then, the Alderman's visit, Emily's father's death, Homer's disappearance, the develop of the odor, Homer's arrival in town, the purchase of the poison, and the arrival of Emily's relatives, makes it the great story that it is today. So, without a doubt, this story would be a lot worse off if it were told chronologically.
These are a few reasons why Faulkner's use of plot in "A Rose for Emily" makes it such a great story. Maybe this composition will help one better understand why he presented the plot the way that he did. How it affected the reader. What the convoluted presentation did to the story and how the story would be worse off if the story was told chronologically instead of how Faulkner presented it.
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