An analysis of the short story “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner shows that the story has a non-chronological structure. The story begins with Emily’s death and then goes back to events from her life.
The main character of the short story is Emily Grierson, the last member of one of the aristocrat families in Jefferson. The narrative presents Emily’s life as seen by the townspeople across the years.
The story’s physical setting is the town of Jefferson, where Emily lives. Her house is an important part of the setting and functions as a symbol of isolation and of holding on to the past. The social setting follows the development of Jefferson, which starts as a battleground for Union and Confederate soldiers during the US Civil War and evolves over the years. The social setting also presents the issue of class division.
The story is told by a first-person plural narrator, which creates ambiguity. Throughout the story, the narrative voice seems to be the voice of some of the townspeople, who can be seen as a collective character.
The language used in the short story is complex. The choice of words adds to the story’s authenticity.
A full analysis of the short story can be found in the following pages.