Sunday, September 21, 2008

Innocent Gossip or Satire?

As the semester progesses through the "Intro to Short Fiction" course, the stories read become increasingly more complex and interesting. "A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner is a classic tale of small town gossip with a culmination of seclusion, necrophilia, and class disruptions. The first person narration used by Faulkner effectively draws the reader into the story, making them one.
By using this narration technique, Faulkner creates an intimate relationship between narration and reader. The person reading the story begins to feel as if he or she is a part of the story, rather than a simple observer like when the third person narration is used. As the topics of discussion become increasingly more juicy, the thrill of gossip increases.
In the beginning of the story, the plot is mildy uninteresting as the narration discusses how Miss Emily refused to pay her taxes and how her house had a horrendously bad smell. The story jumps around from different instances where Miss Emily is the topic of discussion, giving a little more insight onto various incidents as each is discussed. However, the story becomes really interesting when the author talks about how she began to not only do odd things, but how she started dating a man of hard labor and causing controversy because of his lower class status.
Faulkner may have presented this story as a means of entertainment, but it could also be taken for satirical value as well. By showing the effects that gossip, whether the gossip is true or the reader receives the information from an unreliable narration, has on the community and how everybody becomes involved, Faulkner has presented one of the downfalls of mankind. It is human nature to be prone to talk about other people. That being said, it is highly likely that Faulkner wrote this story with the intention of getting people to recognize this problem and possibly progress from reading it.

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