There are many symbols in "A Rose for Emily"; how do I go about creating an essay based on the story's symbolism?
Are there other symbols in the story besides the title, the gray hair, the house, and the watch?
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One good direction you could go in is by making an argument about authorial intention. In other words, you could take one or more of these symbols and create an argument, using the text as evidence, about what Faulkner is trying to do with a symbol(s). What theme, idea, or attitude is revealed by one of these symbols?
To sharpen your topic, think about your essay as either solving some “problem” about the text, or arguing “against” a common interpretation of the text that others may hold.
One additional symbol you may want to take a look at is the portrait of Emily's father. Faulkner spends a good deal of time describing it, which suggests that it is important in some way.
For general strategies on analyzing symbolism and writing essays, please see the eNotes Topics pages below.
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