In “A Rose for Emily”, Charles Faulkner used a series of flashbacks and foreshadowing to tell Miss Emily’s story. Miss Emily is an interesting character, to say the least. In such a short story of her life, as told from the prospective of a townsperson, who had been nearly eighty as Miss Emily had been, in order to tell the story from their own perspective. Faulkner set up the story in Mississippi, in a world he knew of in his own lifetime. Inspired by a southern outlook that had been touched by the Civil War memory, the touch of what we would now look at as racism, gives the southern aroma of the period. It sets up Miss Emily’s southern belle status and social standing she had been born into, loner or not.
As the story begins you see that her father had perhaps set her up to expect too high of standards, as no suitor had been good enough for her until after her father’s death. The fact that for most of her life the Negro man, who had been her manservant, was the only person she had contact with and he shows the secretive life that she had lived. As literature and common society outlook gives society distaste for loners, it automatically gives people suspicion of them. Rich, gentle old maid or not.
As part two begins, and she sends away the aldermen about her owed taxes, it states the smell; the smell that had been taken care of, by former townsmen, thirty years before. The foreshadowing and touch of romantic mystery added says, “That was two years after father’s death and a short time after her sweetheart - the one we believed would marry her - had deserted her.” (145)The smell gives question, mystery, and confusion to the reader. Why would there be a smell and why is it important to the story? Why is it also important to make sure that the time frame is lined up in such a way that the father’s death comes first, the disappearance of the boyfriend and the smell appear in such a fashion? Most likely for the readers to understand that Miss Emily was an unhealthy woman since her father had died. Wanting to be a wife and maybe have a family of her own one day, or at least a companion for the rest of her life, it made her desperate.
The storyteller states that the suitor was a brute man, who would intrigue children with how he would curse the Negro men, who worked for him building sidewalks. The suitor is also stated as being a northern man. A southern lady as herself in a deep, south setting, would not often fall for a man of such qualities. The ladies in town said “Of course a Grierson would not think seriously of a Northerner, a day laborer,” because Miss Emily had a certain status and an image to maintain, and that was not it.
A foreshadowing piece of evidence suggests that Miss Emily will eventually go crazy because her great-aunt had gone completely insane as an old maid herself. It was her estate that left a wedge between Miss Emily’s father and the rest of his blood relatives in Alabama. It was these blood relatives that Miss Emily...