Foreshadowing in A Rose for Emily
William Faulkner??™s short story, ???A Rose for Emily??? shows a lot of events that foreshadow the finding of Homer Baron??™s corpse. Emily meets Homer after her father dies and she starts dating him. They had been dating for a while when suddenly he disappears. There are several events that take place which gives the reader clues leading up to his death such as the foul odor coming from Emily??™s mansion and she purchases poison and gives no reason for buying it.
Emily meets Homer and he charms her with his personality. He takes her for drives every Sunday in a yellow buggy. The nosey townspeople are putting together their own interpretation of the two of them by saying that they must be about to get married. When Homer disappears the townspeople speculate that he has abandon Emily. One night an eyewitness says he seen Homer going into Emily??™s house. In the story no one mentions that they seen him leave the house. This is another way that Faulkner gives the reader a clue of his death. Faulkner said just enough for the reader to believe either he abandoned Emily or he died.
Homer disappears from the town for awhile and then returns long after his work there was done. People speculated that he went off to prepare for Emily while she got rid of her arrogant cousins who were visiting her. Once her cousins leave he comes back and is seen entering her house but never leaves. This is foreshadowing because the reader doesn??™t know if he came there that night to tell Emily that he didn??™t want to see her anymore, or if she killed him because she didn??™t want him to ever leave her.
At the beginning of the story the townspeople are complaining about a foul odor that is radiating from Emily??™s house. At the end of the story, the reader finds out that for thirty years Emily has kept Homer??™s body locked away in an upstairs room; and this is the reason that her house was giving off a spoiled smell. The neighbors complain to the judge, but the judge says it??™s probably a dead rat or snake. After the townspeople continue to complain, the judge has lime sprinkled around the house to make the odor go away; but the odor doesn??™t disappear for a couple of weeks.
Emily goes to the drug store to buy Arsenic rat poison. When the druggist asks her what she is purchasing it for she doesn??™t answer him. The townspeople think she is going to use the poison to kill herself. Months later Homer has disappeared and no one knows what happen to him. It isn??™t until the end of the story that the reader finds out why she went out and purchased this poison.
At the end of the story Emily passes away and all of the pieces are put together. The townspeople go to her funeral. After they have attended her funeral they break down the door that has been sealed for thirty years where they find Homer??™s body that has decade and a piece of Emily??™s long grey hair on the pillow next to him. This explains the foul odor that was coming from her house at the beginning of the story. This also gives the reader an idea as to why she purchases the poison. The one thing the reader never knows is why she killed him and kept his body all those years.
Faulkner used foreshadowing throughout the story leading up to Homer??™s death giving the reader clues to interpret what was going to happen at the end. He gave just enough details on each event for the reader to figure out what happened to Homer. However, he never gave the reader full details as to why Emily killed him.