A Rose for Emily constitute the crucial part of Faulkner's art. Analyzing the plot, background, and chronological order it becomes clear that Faulkner managed to develop his own manner of novelistic narration. The short stories of the writer were equally popular as his novels, and such stories as A Rose for Emily were widely appraised by critics and shared the most revered places among the representatives of the «big» genre. Indeed, by determining Faulkner's contribution to world literature, many English-speaking critics underlined that the writer's genius manifested itself in both genres, despite the complexity of the style that he had developed.
Faulkner's unique writing style is clearly observed in the chronological type of the narration in A Rose for Emily. Therefore, the mystical story becomes endowed with even more vague and misty aura. To begin with, the chronological order of the story is quite unclear, and the very events described in it resemble pieces of rags that are randomly connected with each other. All Emily's life is depicted through these time fragments constituting the symbol of the passing epoch. It can be clearly observed in the very beginning of the narration, where the mansion and the district where the Griersons lived (Faulkner, Inge, 1970). After the death of Emily's father, the entire town was attempting to change her personality by either returning her to life or blaming for immorality. Emily, however, needed neither of these pittances. All this made Emily a certain monument, a relic that was valued by the town's denizens. While the entire country was moving forward, Emily was forced to maintain her reputation and exist just like a fossil in her own house. By moving further through the plot development, it becomes clear that time was Emily's ally. Indeed, this is another character, though invisible, that largely contributed to Emily's struggling with the townsfolk. Emily's denied the deaths of her father and Sartoris, and later preserved Homer's body, which are the direct symbols of her fight against the upcoming epoch that aimed at destroying her own epoch (Faulkner, Inge, 1970). To some extent, Emily represented time herself.
Furthermore, the narration creates a certain aloof and hostile atmosphere represented by the fact that it was actually not the heroine herself who tried to conserved her life and her love, but the townsfolk. The denizens were trying to push her into the old frames, but she wanted to escape it. After the death of her father, Emily cut her hair and looked much younger. (Faulkner, Inge, 1970) A whole year she walked freely with her lover until the townsfolk began to resent it. The entire town seemed to envy her life, and urged her to remember the putative honor. As a result, it was quite natural that Emily preferred reclusion. Moreover, the final scene when the townsfolk opened the door to the room and saw rose canopies and lampshades covered with dust seems to symbolize Emily's rose dream that was mocked by people who surrounded her. Thus, the reversed chronological order of the narration seems to be clinging to the outmoded foundations that meant everything for Emily. Time was like a haunting spirit for the townsfolk, but it was the only friend for Emily. However, Emily was not a relic of the epoch. Her story is a story of person that was broken from within. The reversed chronological sequence provides us with the deep historical and social background. However, this background is just a framework, a cover for the history of a person, even though it is not written in the first-person. In the final analysis, the influence of time represented by the story's chronological order established the direct allusions to Emily's suffering and longing for her disappointed dreams.
Faulkner, William, and M. Thomas Inge. A Rose for Emily. Columbus, OH: Merrill, 1970. Print.