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Foreshadowing in William Faulkner’s A Rose for Emily

Foreshadowing in William Faulkner’s A Rose for Emily

William Faulkner paints a tragic tale about the inevitability of change and the futility of attempting to stop it in “A Rose for Emily”. This story is about a lonely upper-class woman struggling with life and traditions in the Old South. Besides effective uses of literary techniques, such as symbolism and a first plural-person narrative style, Faulkner succeeds in creating a suspenseful and mysterious story by the use of foreshadowing, which gives a powerful description about death and the tragic struggle of the main character, Miss Emily. In general the use of foreshadowing often relates to events in a story, and few are attempted to describe character. Faulkner has effectively succeeded in both. The foreshadowing used in A Rose for Emily are referred to death, which is the more apparent than the second type of foreshadowing which describes the portrait of Miss Emily.

Death is first described in the first paragraph of the story and is repeated thereafter, the death of her father, of Colonel Sartoris, and finally of Homer Baron. The death of Homer, the climax of the story, is foretold by several layers of clues through the story. The first clue is the first description of Miss Emily, “a small, fat woman in black, with a thin gold chain descending …Her skeleton was small and spare…She looked bloated, like a body long submerged in motionless water, and of that pallid hue…Her eyes…looked like two small pieces of coal pressed into a lump of dough” (508). Here is a description of the walking dead, a person who has been left to rot and decay, which is exactly the manner of death of Homer as will be told later. The color “black” is also used by Faulkner to describe dea…

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…. Emily has also refused to acknowledge the death of Colonel Sartoris in the first chapter. This is a tragically sad fate as it turns out in the end that Emily has been living with her dead lover (Homer) for more than 40 years in her life.

Faulkner has created a masterful piece of story telling in taking the reader through a suspenseful and captivating story. The effective use of foreshadowing does not diminish the climax of the story but rather enhance it by not giving out the details, but leaving it to the imagination of the reader. Through the organization of the structure of the storyline mixing with clever clues, Faulkner transforms Emily through the many tragic stages of her life and the ever-accompanying presence of death.

Works Cited

Faulkner, William. “A Rose for Emily”. An Introduction to Literature, 11th ed. Ed. Barnet, Sylvan, et al. 287-294.

Hemming’s Noble Savages

Hemming’s Noble Savages

In the written piece “Noble Savages” by John Hemming he give an historic account of different European adventures in the Brazilian mainland. He also tells some of the stories about the Brazilian people that were taken back to Europe about the savages’ way of life.

A fleet of ships sailing towards Cape of Good Hope on April 22, 1500 was blown astray. They were blown so far west, that their commander Pero Alveres Cabral saw a new land, which they named Easter Mountain.

The men were surprised when the savages met them on the shore. They couldn’t be heard, so they made a friendly exchange of gifts. During their brief stay, the men made a cross with their iron tools and held a mass on the empty beach. The savages watched the cross building with lots of interest because they had no such iron tools that would cut through wood at such a great rate. After the mass was over, the savages showed their willingness to be “noble” by getting up and dancing and blowing their horns for the new god they had just been shown. By this display, the Europeans thought that the conversion of these savages to Christianity would be easy, for they observed that “they do not have or understand any faith” (pg. 25).

Many of the things that the Europeans, Cabral’s men and others later, observed about these savages were very interesting to them. The first thing that they found amazement in was the fact that the savages wore no clothing of any sort. They wer…

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…ugh, was the wood itself. When asked, the savages helped the men to harvest the wood. They even carried the logs to the ships during several journeys. The savages shoulders were all bruised and torn by the weight of the wood but they thought themselves fortunate “to do this service for the Christians, whom they love, cherish and honour” (pg. 31).

Throughout this time of discovery ships brought some of the savages back to Europe where they were paraded and shown off and discussed. The impression that the savages gave the Europeans throughout this and throughout all of the encounters with them was a very noble impression which is what led Hemming to write the piece on the “Noble Savages”.

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