In the short story, ?A Rose for Emily?, the author, William Faulkner, creates a mysterious, respectable main character in a small town. This character, Emily Grierson, keeps to herself and her silence adds to her mysterious life. Miss Emily, throughout the story, undergoes various changes as she experiences the death of her father and lover. She becomes distant from her community which she is known as a tradition, a duty, and a care; a sort of hereditary obligation. As her community changes, she also changes, both physically and mentally. In the story, there are many objects in which William Faulkner uses to help illustrate foreshadowing which symbolizes the passing of time and the changes in Miss Emily Grierson throughout the story. Faulkner uses objects such as Miss Emily?s house, and the ticking of the invisible watch to help create the changing images in her life itself.
The first example of foreshadowing in the story would be when the men went to visit her, to persuade her to pay her taxes; Miss Emily enters the room with a thin gold chain descending to her waist and vanishing into her belt. While there was silence in the room, the men could hear the invisible watch ticking at the end of the gold chain. The ticking of the watch symbolizes the passing of time, as it also symbolizes the passing of Miss Emily?s life and the entrance to a new generation.
The house in which Miss Emily lives in is another example of foreshadowing. The connection between the house and Miss Emily Grierson herself is a symbol of deterioration brought on by life?s tragic events and the passing of time. The house also goes through changes, which are not for the better. Miss Emily was once known as a quite slender figure but as time progressed she became heavy figured. The house was once a stately elegant estate in Jefferson. Both the house and Miss Emily had made these changes after tragic deaths. The house changes after the death of her father and she changes after the death of her boyfriend, Homer Barron. The leather furniture inside the home was cracked with a single sun ray which is believed to symbolize Miss Emily?s dark mysterious figure on the inside with a cracked heart due to the deaths of her loved ones. As Miss Emily dies, her house dies as well; because of the caretaker abandoning it.
In conclusion, the passing of time is symbolized in many ways throughout Faulkner?s ?A Rose for Emily,? the deterioration of the house and the ticking of the invisible watch foreshadows the ending of the story, Miss Emily Grierson?s death.