Literary Analysis – A Rose For Emily
“A Rose For Emily” is a short story by William Faulkner. This story is about a lonely upper-class woman that has trouble letting go of the past and adjusting to change. Faulkner uses foreshadowing in this story to create suspense and mystery. Several events occur which foreshadow the murder of Homer Barron and of Emily sleeping with his dead body.
The first act of foreshadowing is when Emily buys arsenic and refuses to tell the druggist what she intends to use it for. Since Emily does not say what it is ...view middle of the document...
The second use of foreshadowing was the disappearance of Homer Barron. “A neighbor saw the Negro man admit him at the kitchen door at dusk one evening. And that was the last we saw of Homer Baron.” (Faulkner 33) The narrator interprets this as a sign that Homer has ended his relationship with Emily and left town. This foreshadowing actually tells us that he never left the house after that night and that was the last time he would be seen alive.
Another event of foreshadowing is when a smell begins to come from Miss Emily’s house. The smell is so awful that people sneak into her yard at night to apply lime to try to get the smell to go away. The story states "a short time after her sweetheart--the one we believed would marry her--had deserted her".(Faulkner 28) This gives the impression that Miss Emily has become depressed and perhaps secluded herself from others when in reality it is the stench of Homer’s rotting corpse.
These events hint to the finding of Homer Baron’s corpse in Miss Emily’s house. They suggest that Homer has been poisoned by Emily and guarded by her for all the years until her death. The fact that she had an extremely difficult time accepting change makes us think that she was afraid of rejection and wanted Homer to stay with her forever.