A Stylistic Analysis of Complexity in William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily"

Israa' Burhanuddin Abdurrahman


Applying a stylistic analysis on certain texts refers to the identification of patterns of usage in writing. However, such an analysis is not restricted just to the description of the formal characteristics of texts, but it also tries to elucidate their functional importance for the interpretation of the text. This paper highlights complexity as a hallmark of a stylistic analysis in A Rose for Emily, a short story by William Faulkner (1897-1962). The analysis is done by adopting Halliday's (1985) approach to analyzing complexity in sentence structure; and Lauer, et al's (2008) approach to analyzing narrative from a macro perspective in relation to the story acts. The analysis rests upon the assumption that since form conveys meaning, Faulkner's multilayer usage of complexity is extremely functional. This paper tries also to detect and prove that stylistic complexity is manipulated to convey the main themes, events, and successfully leads to identify the distinctive structure of this story. 

Keywords: Style, Stylistic Complexity, Hypotactic, Paratactic, Functional

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