Lesson 12 Self-Identity: Faulkner


Pre-reading question:

1) See if you can figure out who is the "we" of the narrator? Why do you think the narrator uses "we" instead of "I"?
2) Faulkner would be very upset if you didn't have to use the dictionary at least once a story. He liked to make readers stretch themselves. So don't worry if there are lots of words you don't know. But I've started you with a list to check before you start. Vocabulary: cupolas, obliterated, august, coquettish, perpetuity, deputation, temerity, diffident, deprecation, lime (not the fruit), jalousies, cabal, circumvent, impervious, sibilant, macabre, acrid, pall, valance, cuckold, inextricable.

Post-reading questions:

1) Can you reconstruct a chronological list of events?
2) What details foreshadow the conclusion of the story? Are you shocked by the ending?
3) Explain Emily's relationship to the town and the people. What does the narrator mean by "Alive, Miss Emily had been a tradition, a duty and a care"?
4) What do you think is the significance of the title?
5) What does Emily and her family represent for the townspeople and the narrator?
6) What values does the narrator appear to hold? Are there points in the story where he offers his own commentary?
7) Explain how Emily's reasons for murdering Homer are related to her personal history and to the ways she handled previous conflicts.

Related Links

Faulkner on the Web: http://www.mcsr.olemiss.edu/~egjbp/faulkner/faulkner.html

William Faulkner Foundation: http://www.uhb.fr/faulkner/WF/index.htm

Center for Faulkner Studies: http://www2.semo.edu/cfs/homepage.html

Teaching Faulkner Newsletter Archives: http://www6.semo.edu/cfs/teaching_faulkner.htm

William Faulkner's Centenial Page by Random House Publishers: http://www.randomhouse.com/features/faulkner/

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