Unreliable Narrator

In a story I read recently, “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner, there is a somewhat estranged woman named Emily who lives in a giant house by herself, and everyone in the town is frightened by her. They have never been inside her house, nobody knows that much about what she does these days now that her entire family is deceased. The reader becomes terrified of Emily as well, because the narrator refers to a lot of instances as “us” or “we,” seeming to include the reader in the times when some people of the town go and investigate her house late at night, looking like burglars. We become so scared and accusatory of Emily, when in reality she might not be so terrifying but we can’t help our opinion because the only lens we have into her life is through that of the narrator. Thus, I do not trust the narrator in this instance to depict Emily in an appropriate fashion, making the reader scared of her when they may have no reason to be.


Here is the story, it’s not very long- there are two stories following it. I only focused on “A Rose for Emily.”


Leave a Reply