Reading Response #4
Already we knew that there was one room in that region above stairs which no one had seen in forty years, and which would have to be forced. They waited until Miss Emily was decently in the ground before they opened it. The violence of breaking down the door seemed to fill this room with pervading dust. A thin, acrid pall as of the tomb seemed to lie everywhere upon this room decked and furnished as for a bridal: upon the valance curtains of faded rose color, upon the rose-shaded lights, upon the dressing table, upon the delicate array of crystal and the man's toilet things backed with tarnished silver, silver so tarnished that the monogram was obscured. Among them lay a collar and tie, as if they had just been removed, which, lifted, left upon the surface a pale crescent in the dust. Upon a chair hung the suit, carefully folded; beneath it the two mute shoes and the discarded socks. The man himself lay in the bed. For a long while we just stood there, looking down at the profound and fleshless grin. The body had apparently once lain in the attitude of an embrace, but now the long sleep that outlasts love, that conquers even the grimace of love, had cuckolded him. What was left of him, rotted beneath what was left of the nightshirt, had become inextricable from the bed in which he lay; and upon him and upon the pillow beside him lay that even coating of the patient and biding dust. Then we noticed that in the second pillow was the indentation of a head. One of us lifted something from it, and leaning forward, that faint and invisible dust dry and acrid in the nostrils, we saw a long strand of iron gray hair
THESIS: In this passage the narrator describes finding the dead corpse of Miss Emily’s Father Homer Barron in a room that no one has seen in forty years since his death, but it also tells the reader that the towns people already knew that. Through Faulkner’s use of contrasting phrasing, diction, and foreshadowing Faulkner shows that Miss Emily kept her father’s corpse because she has a mental illness and the towns people knew something about the crime.
The passage begins with the knowledge of the towns people about Miss Emily and a particular room in her home. The passage starts off by saying “Already we knew that there was one room in that region above stairs which no one had seen in forty years,...