Examine a story in which you feel the setting is critically important. Explain what the choice of setting contributes to the story.
In William Faulkner’s short story, “A Rose for Emily”, the author emphasizes on the details about setting and atmosphere. This gives the reader a general background as to the values and beliefs of the characters, helping the reader to understand the motivations, actions and reactions of Miss Emily as well as the rest of the town. Due to this reason, this changes the mood or tone in the story. In “A Rose for Emily”, a woman confines herself in her large house in a small town during the early half of the twentieth century.
The setting in “A Rose for Emily” is Faulkner’s fictitious post-civil war Jefferson, a small town in the deep south of the United States. The town is isolated and the people of the town seem to value this quality, however they highly lack progression in social change. Faulkner’s use of this particular time-period is successful in giving the reader an understanding to the values and beliefs of the characters in the story. The town of Jefferson is a fallen legacy. The hierarchical regime of the Griersons and the class system of the time, where by law of the mayor-Colonel Sartoris, a Negro woman could not even walk the street without an apron, had changed completely. It has changed into a place where even the street on which Miss Emily lived, that had once been the most select, had now been encroached and intruded. Both the town and Miss Emily herself now looked upon Miss Emily as the only remainder of that greater time. This gives the reader an understanding of the mindset of the “town,” who is narrating Miss Emily’s story to us in a form resembling a gossip circle, where stories of various townspeople are pieced together and of Miss Emily, the protagonist who lived alone except for her lone servant.
Emily’s house is where Emily spent most of her life in isolation after the death of her father. Externally it is...