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Faulkner's Use of Foreshadowing in A Rose For Emily Essay

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In William Faulkner’s short story A Rose for Emily the order of events, though ordered un-chronologically, still contains extensive uses of foreshadowing. Faulkner Foreshadows Emily’s inability to perceive death as finality, Homer Baron’s death, and the fact that she [Emily] is hoarding Homers dead body. Faulkner also uses precise detailing and dynamic repetition in certain areas that contain foreshadowing, to grasp the reader’s attention.
At the beginning of the short story, Faulkner does not elude too much to the coming events in the story. Perhaps our first clue of things to come, comes from this text on page 90
So she vanquished them, horse and foot, just as she had their fathers thirty years before about the smell. That was two years after her fathers death and a short time after her sweetheart [Homer] –the one we believed would marry her- had deserted her.
In analyzing this text from the story it is evident that a smell has developed and coincidentally just a short time after her sweetheart abandoned her. Although homer is already dead, no one is aware, therfore the stench is foreshadowing finding homers body on the property some time in the future.
The second foreshadow to be analyzed is Emily’s inability to perceive death as a finality. Around the middle of the story the narrator informs the reader about how Emily had handled her father’s death. In fact the passage is quite detailed; Emily tells the town that “…her father was not dead. She did that for three days…” (p.93) Faulkner uses this foreshadowing text to aid us recognize that Emily could not let go of things that brought her grief easily or at all in Homers case.
In his short story Faulkner also uses sort, repetitive and detailed passages which include for...


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... she lived. It is also apparent that she was delusional.
There are many other examples in this text that include foreshadowing as a primary literary element however in what has been discussed here it is clear that Faulkner is impeccable in using foreshadowing as a way to grasp the reader’s attention. Faulkner gives the reader essential pieces of information at times to better understand and decode the story. Such as Emily not being able to perceive death as a finality, Homers death in itself or the fact that Emily is hoarding his [Homers] body. Faulkner also uses very descriptive and short phrases or passages containing foreshadowing to help emphasis very important turning points in the story. In the short story a Rose for Emily William Faulkner has truly done a remarkable job at satisfying the reader with his use of foreshadowing as a primary literary element.



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