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A Rose for Emily

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"Poor Emily"

Have you ever read a story and half way through you could tell how the ending was going to turn out by obvious clues given? Or have you ever read a story as to where you thought you knew what was going to happen next, then come to find out that you were completely on the wrong track? Point of view, which is how a story is told, can be expressed in four different categories of: first person, limited omniscient, omniscient, and objective. The point of view chosen can either produce the intended effect that the author had created, or can confuse or distract the reader.

"A Rose for Emily," by William Faulkner, is a story about a middle-aged woman, Miss Emily, who lives only with her Negro servant because both her parents were dead, and the only man everyone thought would be the one "she will marry" (487) "left" her. When her father died, the mayor at that time invented a tale that her father had loaned money to the town, so that she would not have to pay taxes. After he died, however, the new mayor told her that she now had to pay, because the townspeople were complaining that it wasn't fair to them, and that it was not on any file that she did not have to pay. Not only did the townspeople complain to the mayor about Miss Emily not having to pay taxes, but also because of a foul odor that came from her house. The townspeople would refer to her as "poor Emily." After her father had died and her boyfriend was living with her, two of her female cousins had come to visit her. She had once went to the drug store to purchase poison for "rats" not too long after, her boyfriend left her, so the townspeople thought she would use the poison to kill herself. However, ten years later she ended up dying from an illness, and when the funeral was over they searched through her house. They ended up finding, in a locked bedroom, her dead boyfriend's body lying in a bed. They came to realize that she had used the poison to kill him, and that is what the smell they complained of was coming from. They noticed that on the pillow next lay a strand of her gray hair.

This "twist" at the end of the story comes as a surprise to the reader, because of the point of view the author used, which did not give too many clues away. There are many techniques and ways that authors use to express point of view in their stories. The



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