A Narratological Study and Analysis of: The Concept of Time in William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily”

Moussa Ahmadian, Leyli Jorfi


This study is primarily concenrned with applying Genette’s narratological framework of time to the study of William Faulkner’s A Rose for Emily. This study aims to provide insights about the time shift processes in this short story. Moreover, since time is a component of narratology, this study will be concerned with discussions about ‘narratology’ and ‘narrative’, too. The study falls into two parts. The first section is allocated to the theoretical concepts of ‘narratology’, ‘narrative’, and ‘time’: ‘Narratology’ which is the study of narrative structures, includes many elements such as mood, voice, narration, as well as time (which is the focus of this study). ‘Narrative’ is the product of narration and it is what narratologists study and analyze. Furthermore, ‘time’-the main focus of this paper-will be elaborated on and then identified in A Rose for Emily based on Genette’s two fundamental dichotomies of ‘story time’ and ‘discourse time’. These theoretical discussions are taken into consideration while analysis of A Rose for Emily. The second section, will be devoted to the analysis of time using Genette’s model on Faulkner’s A Rose for Emily. For this aim, Genette’s concept of time which is classified into categories of order, duration, and frequency as well as their subcategories (which are already explained in the first section), will be identified and the shifts that have occurred will be determined.

Keywords: narratology, narrative, time shift, Genette’s model, A Rose for Emily

Full Text:



Augustine (1992). Confessions. 3 Vol., Vol. 1: Introduction and Text. Oxford: Clarendon P.

Abbott, H. P. (2002). The Cambridge Introduction to Narrative. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Bal, M. (1991). Narration and Focolization. In Bal, M. (Ed.). (2004). Narrative theory, Vol. 1. (pp. 263-296). London: Routledge.

Barthes, R. (1977) Introduction to the Structural Analysis of Narratives. In Mcquillan, M. (Ed.). (2000). (pp. 109-114). The Narrative Reader. London: Routledge.

Bruner, J. (1991) ‘The Narrative Construction of Reality', in Critical Inquiry, 18(1), p.6.

Chatman, S. (1978). Story and Discourse. Narrative Structure in Fiction and Film. Ithaca: Cornell UP.

Fludernik, M. & Margolin, U. (2004). “Introduction.” Special Issue German Narratology I of Style, 38, 148–87.

Fludernik, M. (2006). An Introduction to Narratology. New York: Routledge.

Genette, G. (1980). Narrative Discourse: An Essay in Method. Trans. Jane Lewin. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Heidegger, M. (1971) Poetry, Language, Thought. New York: Harper & Row.

Herman, D. (2009). Basic Elements of Narrative. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

Jahn, M. (2005). Narratology: A guide to the theory of narrative. English department: University of Cologne. Retrieved November 10, 2006, from: www.uni-koeln.de/ame02.pppn.htm.

Lessing, G. E. (1962). Laocoön. An Essay on the Limits of Painting and Poetry. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill.

Meister, J. Ch. (n. d.). Narratology. In Hühn, P., Pier, J., Schmid, W., & Schonert, J. (Eds.). (2009). Handbook of Narratology. Walter de Gruyter: Berlin.

Nash, C. (1994). Narrative in culture. London: Routledge.

Kindt, T & Müller, H. H. (2003). “Narrative Theory and/or/as Theory of Interpretation.” T. K. & H.-H. M. (Eds.). What Is Narratology? Questions and Answers Regarding the Status of a Theory. Berlin: de Gruyter, 205–19.

Phelan, J. & Robinowitz, P. J. (Eds.). (2006). A Companion to Narrative Theory. Oxford: Blackwell.

Prince, G. (1982). Narratology: The Form and Functioning of Narrative. Walter de Gruytcr & Co.: Berlin.

Prince, G. (1990). On Narratology (past, present, future). French literature series (Columbia), 17 (1). In Macquillqn, M. (Ed.). (2000). The Narrative Reader. (p. 129). London: Routledge.

Prince, G. (2003). A Dictionary of Narratology. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P.

Scheffel, M., Weixler, A.,Werner, L. (2013). “Time”. In Hühn et al. (Eds.): The Living Handbook of Narratology. Hamburg: Hamburg University. URL = http://www.lhn.uni-hamburg.de/article/time.

Ricour, P. (1980)."Narrative Time". Critical Inquiry. 7. pp.169-176.

Ricoeur, P. (1984–1989). Time and Narrative, Vols 1–4. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Rimmon-Kenan, Sh. (1983). Narrative fiction: Contemporary poetics. London: Methuen.

Rimmon-Kenan, Sh. (2004). Towards…afterwards, almost twenty years later. In Bal, M. (Ed.). (2004). Narrative theory, Vol 1. (pp. 42-55). London: Routledge.

Ryan & Alphen, E. V. (1993). “Narratology.” I. R. Makaryk (ed). Encyclopedia of Contemporary Literary Theory. Approaches, Scholars, Terms. Toronto: U of Toronto P, 110–16.

Todorov, T. (1969). “The Two Principles of Narrative.” Diacritics 1, 37–44.

Todorov, T. (1971). “The Two Principles of Narrative.” Diacritics 1, 37–44.

Tomaševskij, B. (Tomashevsky) (1925/ 1965). “Thematics.” P. A. Olson (Ed.). Russian Formalist Criticism. Four Essays. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 59–95.

Toolan, M. (2001). Narrative: A Critical Linguistic Introduction. London: Routledge.

Whatling, S. (2010). Narrative art in northern Europe, c.1140-1300: A narratological re-appraisal. (Doctoral dissertation, The Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London) Retrieved December 8, 2014, from: http://www.medievalart.org.uk/PhD/Contents.html.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2010-2023 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD.

Advances in Language and Literary Studies

You may require to add the 'aiac.org.au' domain to your e-mail 'safe list’ If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox'. Otherwise, you may check your 'Spam mail' or 'junk mail' folders.