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Author Question: Who is the unnamed narrator? For whom does he profess to be speaking? What will be an ideal ... (Read 784 times)


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Who is the unnamed narrator? For whom does he profess to be speaking?
  What will be an ideal response?

Question 2

What is meaningful in the final detail that the strand of hair on the secondpillow is iron-gray?
  What will be an ideal response?

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Answer to Question 1

  • The unnamed narrator is a townsman of Jefferson, Mississippi, who has for some years watched Emily Grierson with considerable interest but also respectful distance. He openly describes his perspective as average; he often uses we in the story, never I. Sometimes he uses they to distance himself from certain perceptions that the townspeople have of Emily, her behavior, or her house. His tone and manner are informed but detached, and surprisingly cool given the horrific conclusion. He mixes his own observations with town gossip to provide a seemingly reliable view of Jeffersons opinion of Miss Emily.

We must also note that while traditionally the narrator has been assumed to be a man (perhaps a stand-in for Faulkner?), the text never clarifies this. It is possible that the narrator is a fellow townswoman, or even a distant female relation. How might this change your students reading of the story?

Answer to Question 2

  • After Homer Barrons mysterious disappearance, Miss Emily is not seen on the streets of Jefferson for almost six months, although her Negro servant continues to come and go from the house with his market basket. When they next see Emily, she had grown fat and her hair was turning gray. During the next few years it grew grayer and grayer until it attained an even pepper-and-salt iron gray the color her hair stays until her death at age seventy-four (par. 48). The narrator sets

up this detail early enough so the reader knows, and will not have forgotten, that this long vigorous iron-gray hair belongs to no one other than Emily Grierson. From the detail that the strand of hair is iron-gray, it appears that Emily lay beside Homers body recently, many years after it was already rotten. In fact, she had probably lain beside it many times, for the pillow next to the body is clearly indented with a head.


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Reply 2 on: Jul 20, 2018
Wow, this really help


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Reply 3 on: Yesterday


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