Analyzing the Point of View
One of the most important elements of a story is the point of view that the story is told in. The point of view is critical to determining whether or not the narrator is trustworthy. By analyzing the point of view in “A Rose for Emily” the reader can determine what point of view the story is being told in, how the story will change if it’s told from a different viewpoint, and if the narrator is trustworthy.
In the beginning of the story one can immediately see that the story is being told in the third person objective point of view. “When Miss Grierson died, our whole town went to her funeral … in at least ten years.” (Faulkner 526) In the preceding quote the reader can see that the story is being told from the perspective of someone who is in the town but not directly named by the author. This is critical to the story because the reader can only see what the narrator is recalling in the story and limits the reader to the facts that are being reported by the narrator. The reader gets the feeling that Miss Emily was a dignified woman who is admired by all the people in the town. As the story continues the citizens of the town’s opinion of Miss Emily changes from admiration to pity as she mourns the death of her father. The reader can also see that the narrator can only make general statements about how a group of people feel about Miss Emily and not a specific character. “So the next day we all said, ‘She will kill herself’; and we said it would be the best thing.” (Faulkner 531) The reader can see in this quote that the narrator is generalizing how the group of townspeople feel instead of telling the reader how he or she specifically feels
By analyzing “A Rose for Emily” the reader can determine how the story will change if it’s being told from a different viewpoint. The story will change if the it was being told in a first person point of view for two reasons: the reader will be able to determine if the narrator is trustworthy, and will be able to get accurate statements about how a certain character is feeling about any situation. In “A Rose for Emily” the narrator is very limited and can only describe how every character in the story is feeling as a whole. This makes it difficult for the reader to tell if what he or she is reading is accurate or not. If the story is in first person the reader can get a more accurate...