William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily" draws a vivid picture of the south in the United States at the turn of the century. Faulkner uses different aspects in the story to draw in the reader and to incorporate his beliefs. The short story is written rather interesting because it does not follow a typical chronological order. Faulkner reveals details of the plot rather slowly, mainly to keep the reader in suspense before he reveals the murder of Homer Barron.
Faulkner uses the setting to give insight into the lonely world of Miss Grierson. Faulkner portrays the townspeople and Emily in the Southern town of Jefferson during the early 1900's. During this time, African-American's, as well as poor Caucasians, were not treated equally with the respect that they deserve. Faulkner did not agree with this scenario; he believed in equality and made his point very noticeable in "A Rose for Emily". The town of Jefferson is more than just a setting in the story; it takes on its own characterization along with the main character Emily, and the love of her life, Homer. The setting is the main reason behind Emily's attitude and actions which gives the reader an easier understanding to her decisions. The town of Jefferson watched and debated Emily's every move, wondering why she did the things she did. The townspeople drew a clear picture of who Emily was compared to who they wanted her to be. The narrator in the story is not identified by name, but clearly is recognized as a member of the community that surrounds Emily by using the pronoun "we" when referring to the townspeople, such as, "We did not say she is crazy then." Faulkner uses the element of time to enhance the details of the setting. Throughout the whole story, the narrator flows back and fourth throughout time revealing significant details of Emily's life. Faulkner first gives the reader a finished puzzle and then allows the reader to examine the plot piece by piece to enhance the story and to present different perspectives of Emily's character.