Study Guide

A Rose for Emily Narrator Point of View

By William Faulkner

Narrator Point of View

First Person (Peripheral Narrator)

The fascinating narrator of "A Rose for Emily" is more rightly called "first people" than "first person."

The narrator speaks sometimes for the men of Jefferson, sometimes for the women, and often for both. It also spans three generations of Jeffersonians, including the generation of Miss Emily's father, Miss Emily's generation, and the "newer generation," made up of the children of Miss Emily's contemporaries. The narrator is pretty hard on the first two generations, and it's easy to see how their treatment of Miss Emily may have led to her downfall. This lends the narrative a somewhat confessional feel.

While we're on the subject of "we," notice no one townsperson is completely responsible for what happened to Emily. (It's fair to say, though, that some are more responsible than others.) The willingness of the town to now admit responsibility is a hopeful sign, and one that allows us to envision a better future for generations to come.