The narrator in Faulkner’s A Rose for Emily is unnamed and represents the collective voice of the town. Critics have not established conclusively whether the narrator is male or female. The narrator may be someone who knows Emily intimately, perhaps even her secret, such as Tobe, her servant. This is because of a number of factors. For example, the narrator calls Emily by the name “Miss Emily,” a title which may imply servant-hood. Although the narrator conceals themselves behind the joint pronoun “we,” he/she may have had personal perspectives and opinions that he/she spreads to the townspeople. The narrator seems to know quite a lot about Emily. At one point, he states that “Already we knew” about the sealing of an upstairs bedroom. He also states that he and the townspeople knew about the one room. Although the narrator stands far from the heart of the story, he is still within it. The narrator picks an objective perspective enabling the reader to act as the jury and to draw his/her own conclusion. He uses imagery, diction and objectivity in trying to show that Emily’s character and surroundings were distinctive. The narrators shift to using the word “they,” to distance himself from the townspeople even though he/she had previously used “we.” This is because the narrator does not endorse the breaking down of the door. This gives the narrator credibility because they are viewed as moral and respectful. In this regard, the reader may trust the narrator. The fact that the narrator seems to distance himself from those who disrespect Emily may indicate that he/she cares for her (Emily). Initially, however, the narrator seems to show some bitterness towards Emily but finally, he seems to admire Emily and her courage: “She carried her head high enough - even when we believed she was fallen.” (Faulkner 30).
Martin Luther King’s I have a Dream was written at a time of extreme prejudice and judgment among people from the black community (King, 1963). To achieve equality and make an emotional appeal to the reader on behalf of African Americans, Martin Luther King uses strong metaphors. He seeks to promote changes that would ultimately abolish discrimination, segregation and prejudice in the country, particularly in the South. He uses several strategies in his speech such as repetition of words like “go back,” “I have a dream,” and “let freedom ring” (King, 1963). His most powerful method, however, is the use of symbols. Metaphors such as “beacon light of hope” and “manacles of segregation,” are predominant in his speech. His analogy in comparing the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution to“bad check” is meant to evoke guilt in white Americans for withholding the freedom and rights of the blacks.
On the other hand, Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr is a commentary on contemporary society. He bases his text on the dictum “all men are created equal” to underline his stand on equality. To seek justice from the readers, the author uses a satiric style. His mastery of social criticism is displayed through entertaining fiction. The spectacle of ballerinas who perform while encumbered by sash weights, cumbersome masks and birdshot is entertaining yet it underlines the extreme power and misguided justice system of government (Vonnegut, 1961). There is romantic imagery used to show Harrison Bergeron’s agile dance with a ballerina empress. Vonnegut shows serious criticism of the government actions and policies and his satirical writing is aimed at showing that the government should treat all people equally. Martin Luther King would have been proud of Kurt Vonnegut’s text because it is in-keeping with most of what he espoused.
Faulkner, W. (1970). A Rose for Emily,. Columbus, Ohio: Merrill.
King, M. L. (1963, August 28). I have a dream. Address. Lecture conducted from Martin Luther King, Washington D.C..
Vonnegut, K. (1961). Harrison Bergeron. New York: Mercury Press.