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Faulkner was very interested in challenging the idea of progress in modernity. The popular assumption in American culture had been that industrial advancement is a beneficial thing and can be seen as social progress. For Faulkner, this premise was questionable.
He often writes about dissolution taking place with the advent of the automobile and moral decline accompanying the transition from the values of the past to the more materialistic values of modernity.
We can see this commentary at work in "A Rose for Emily".
If you are going to write a research paper on "A Rose For Emily," you need to choose a theme or thesis to write on.
One of the themes you might choose to write on is death. Death is a theme discussed throughout this story and the death of many people are mentioned in the story. The story, in fact, begins with the funeral of Miss Emily. It also discusses the death of her father and the missing boyfriend.
Another theme that Faulkner writes about in this story is the decline of the values and the culture of the old South. You could choose several of Faulkner's other works to compare and contrast to this story. The concept of the downfall of the principles of the old South are a reoccurring theme of Faulkner's novels and stories.
The theme of isolation and the community in which Miss Emily lives are also covered thoroughly in this short story. There are many ideas and topics for this short story here on Enotes that you can read about by going to the links listed below. Thanks for your question.
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