I am writing a Literary Analysis essay on "A Rose for Emily", but I am having difficulties picking a good topic; I need help getting good ideas.

Expert Answers
scarletpimpernel eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One topic you could use for Faulkner's short story is the conflict between the Old South (tradition and Miss Emily) and the new.  You would be able to write a thorough essay on this subject by demonstrating how Miss Emily represents tradition to the townspeople and how her isolation and death symbolize the demise of the Old South.

Another effective topic from the story is to focus on Miss Emily's servant Tobe.  Consider why he is silent through the story, why he disappears after letting the townspeople into the house, and why he never reveals what happened.  He, too, is linked to the idea of tradition and customs.

busydonnelly | Student

To pick a controversial topic that does not get a lot of ink would be to question the relationship between Miss Emily and her lover Homer Barron. The reference is made in the story "because Homer himself had remarked- he liked men, and it was kniwn that he drank with the younger men in the Elks' Club- that he was not a marrying man." Was he a heterosexual male?  Is this why Emily poisoned him? This would have been a controversial issue back in the time period of this setting.

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A Rose for Emily

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