Plot is a series of events in a story. Plot in the short story ‘A Rose for Emily’ is well –developed. A plot must be chronological or non-chronological. Chronological means the events happened in order of their occurrence. Non-Chronological means that there were regressions into the past from time to time or for the entire story. This short story is non-chronological. It contained a frame story. This is where the narrator tells a story that happened in the past without coming back to the present until the end of the story or not at all.
The story begins at the death of Miss Emily Grierson and tells the events of her life in a series of flashbacks before returning to the events after her death at the end of the story.
The Rate of Revelation (or Pace) was slow. Details clogged the action and the reader kept on waiting for the action to continue. The story was narrated in a series of sections, each dealing with an event in Miss Emily’s life and was clogged with details of these event and as a result, this made the development of the plot of the short story slow.
In this short story, “A Rose for Emily”, all the elements of plot are present. Exposition is the information the reader receives when the story opens. It is only the information that is going on at the very beginning, including what is happening, the setting, and the characters involved only at the beginning. The exposition in this story included the death of Miss Emily, an introduction to the people of the town,
and their fascination with Miss Emily.
According to the exposition, the men were interested in the death of Miss Emily a respect to a fallen monument of the town while the women were interested in seeing the interior of her house. The exposition also introduces the readers to the old man-servant who worked for Miss Emily and the house where Miss Emily lived. The readers learn that no one had seen the inside of this house for more than ten years except for the old man-servant. All these elements introduced in the exposition are essential to the development of the plot of the story.
The dramatic conflicts include all the events that happen up to the crisis. Examples include: the death of Miss Emily’s father, the anticipation of the townspeople that Miss Emily would eventually court someone of her standing in the town, the arrival of Homer Barron in the town and his courtship with Miss Emily, her teaching of Chinese painting to children of the town, the remittance of her taxes by the sheriff, her isolation from the people in the town, her illness, and her eventual death.
Crisis, is the turning point, the separation of what has gone on before and what will come after. Usually a decision or action undertaken in an effort to resolve the conflict. The crisis in this story was the death of Miss Emily. It is at this point that the people of the town were finally able to enter her house. It is also at this point that the cause of Miss Emily’s isolation is identified as it becomes clear that she had been deeply affected by the death of Homer Barron to the extent of keeping his corpse in a room in the house for more than forty years.
The epiphany in this story was at the end of the story when the townspeople discovered the corpse of Homer Barron in Miss Emily’s house. The people realize that Homer had not disappeared but he had died in Miss Emily’s house. However, it is not clear whether he had been murdered by Miss Emily.
Climax is the highest point of the action. The tension and conflicts are brought to a final outcome. The highest point in this story occurs at the end, when the townspeople open up the old room in Miss Emily’s house because no one is sure what will be found on the other side of the door.
Resolution or Denouement is the tying up of loose ends. It is the result of the climax. The climax of the short story explains two important aspects of this story, that is, what happened to Homer Barron, and why Miss Emily descended into complete isolation from the rest of the town.
Plot also contains an analysis from the reader, weakness in the plot can come from not enough detail. For example, it is not clear how the people of the town knew beforehand that the room in Miss Emily’s house had not been opened for more than forty years. Weakness can also come from too much detail. That interfered with the action. For example, the story offers a detailed explanation of Miss Emily’s gradual descent into complete isolation which leaves only a few paragraphs to tie up all the loose ends in the narrative.
Strengths in the plot come from believable events. For example, it is believable that the emotional torture that Miss Emily went through from the death of Homer Barron is what led her to isolate herself from the rest of the town as she placed herself in a kind of mental prison. Plot in the short story “A Rose for Emily” is very strong and can be a viable part of English literature today for all students to study and enjoy.