Short Stories




Point of view refers to the mode in which a story is told (Abrams &ampHarpham, 2014). It captures the manner in which the writer chooses toreveal details to the audience (DiYanni, 2008). Therefore, the pointof view determines the story that is relayed to the readers. Theauthor can choose to use either first person, second person, or thirdperson. Granted, some details would be hidden or included if adifferent character told the story. However, a writer customarilyuses point of view to influence the reader’s conclusions.

In A Rose for Emily, William Faulkner employs the third-personlimited point of view. The narrator frequently uses the word “we”to provide an illusion of witnessing events as they unfold(Faulkner). The author also uses the viewpoint character in a waythat creates similarities with the first person. Besides, Faulknerused the third person to reveal details that were beyond the grasp ofthe main character. If the story had been based on Emily`s point ofview, the audience would neither have learned the truth norsympathized with her situation. Consequently, the reader can developobjective judgments about Emily and the town.

Notably, the speaker does not participate in any events. However, thenarrator relays a series of flashbacks to help the audienceunderstand how the town developed its perception of Miss Emily.Hence, an unbiased tone is used to explain people’s attitudes. Forexample, the narrator quotes the gossip among the townspeople.Faulkner also discusses the main character’s thoughts to createstronger connections between Emily and the reader. Furthermore, theresidents are portrayed as busybodies since they strived “to seethe inside of the house” (Faulkner). In this regard, the narratordiscredits their opinions. Therefore, the reader can sympathize withEmily’s predicament.


Abrams, M. H. &amp Harpham, G. (2014). A glossary of literaryterms (11th ed.). Boston, Mass.: Cengage Learning.

DiYanni, R. (2008). Literature: Approaches to fiction, poetry, anddrama (2nd ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Faulkner, W. (2016, Aug. 1). A Rose for Emily. Retrieved from