Study Guide

A Rose for Emily Writing Style

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Writing Style


Faulkner isn't well known for holding back. In fact, he's (in)famous for his descriptive wordiness.

With Faulkner we can feel the vines tangling, the magnolias blooming, and—yes—the dust motes settling in Homer Barron's crypt. Faulkner details everything: from the beautiful to the horrific.

Want an example? Sure thing:

A thin, acrid pall as of the tomb seemed to lie everywhere upon this room decked and furnished as for a bridal: upon the valance curtains of faded rose color, upon the rose-shaded lights, upon the dressing table, upon the delicate array of crystal and the man's toilet things backed with tarnished silver, silver so tarnished that the monogram was obscured. (5.4)

This is classic Faulkner: the sensory elements are meticulously documented, from the lovely ("delicate array of crystal") to the nauseating ("thin, acrid pall as of the tomb").

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