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The Mystery Of Miss Emily Essay

1739 words - 7 pages

William Faulkner's short story “A Rose For Emily” opens the reader into the secluded, odd and depressing life of Miss Emily Grierson as seen through the eyes of people in the town and told through one of the townspeople. The mystery and curiosity from others are highlighted from the very beginning of the story when the the reader is introduced to the death of Miss Emily. From the very beginning sentences, a tone of darkness and curiosity can be felt in the short story. This tone helps to pique the interest of the reader on the reclusive life of the the main character and to enhance the story as it moves along to the climax. Miss Emily lives such a isolated life that very few are a part of. The events that happen and her actions in the story keep the townspeople talking and wondering about her and her home. The people are eager to take a glimpse into the recently departed's house and a tale quickly begins to reveal why people are so fascinated with Miss Emily. Faulkner's use of a inquisitive, gossipy and dark tones help to establish the opinion of Miss Emily to those who live around her and to reveal the already known details she has hidden in her house.
A subtle tone throughout the story is one of inquisitiveness or curiosity. This is done through the questioning done by the townspeople and also when the narrator outright says that they are curious. From the very first paragraph it is clear that the townspeople are not interested in Miss Emily's funeral but are wanting to get a glimpse into her house that had not been visited in years. The reader gets their first look into the inquisitiveness of the neighbors when the narrator says “...the women mostly out of curiosity to see the inside of her house, which no one save an old man-servant--a combined gardener and cook--had seen in at least ten years“ (Faulkner 32). This sentence is important because of Miss Emily's reclusive lifestyle. There was not many people who visited or spoke with her besides the servant and a few of the girls in the town that had attended lessons in painting china from her years before. The people in the town had their ideas and a lot of questions regarding Miss Emily and her house but they did not have any of them answered before the time of her death. They had attempted before to satisfy their curiosity by asking those that worked for Miss Emily. This is seen when the narrator reveals that “...we had long since given up trying to get any information from the Negro” (Faulkner 36). This shows how the people would at one point try to pry to get information as to what was happening in regards to Miss Emily. The curious tone continues rather quietly through the story until it reaches the climax towards the end when they finally enter the home. Part V begins with “The negro met the first of the ladies at the front door and let them in, with their hushed, sibilant voices and their quick, curious glances, and then he disappeared” (Faulkner 37). This passage describing their...

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