Even though the narrator is one, it is clear he represents the whole town. The narrator does not just represent the whole town, but the town's gossip of Miss Emily.Even though the narrator is one, it is clear he represents the whole town. The narrator does not just represent the whole town, but the town's gossip of Miss Emily. Flashback and jumping in time sequence is another Faulkner trait. In Absalom, Absalom!, the narrators look back to tell the rise and fall of the Sutpen family. The use of flashback in this story helps develop the humanity and memory of the narrators. Faulkner managed to grasp that some humans have good memories, others do not. The flashback helped show this difference in this story. In The Sound and the Fury, flashbacks also set the stage for the realistic depiction of the characters' memories. This could mean that the idiot was Benjy, or that all of the narrators and participants were idiots. Symbolically all narrators could be considered idiots, because of faulty memories. Even the best memory can be flawed. Another symbolic issue in Shakespeare's soliloquy is the tale signifies nothing. Stories, especially fiction stories, are meant to entertain the reader. A good writer entertains the reader, by engaging them in a story. Faulkner does entertain and engage, but also realizes that his stories signify nothing. “A Rose for Emily” flashes back in time. The first line is about Miss Emily's death. Later the narrator states: And of Miss Emily for some time. The Negro man went in and out with the market basket, but the front door remained closed. Now and then we would see her at a window for a moment, as the men did that night when they sprinkled the lime, but for almost six months she did not appear on the streets...When we next saw Miss Emily, she had grown fat and her hair was turning gray. During the next few years, it grew greyer and greyer until it attained an even pepper-and-salt iron-grey when it ceased turning. Up to the day of her death at seventy-four it was still that vigorous iron-gray, like the hair of an active man. (Faulkner, 1995, p. 121)Not only does Faulkner go back in time, but jumps back and then forward.
Faulkner, William. Absalom, Absalmom! USA: Random House, 2002.
---Collected Stories of William Faulkner. USA: Vintage, 1995.
---The Sound and the Fury. USA: Vintage, 1991.
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