In Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily," for what reason does Emily deserve to receive the rose?Reasons should be proven by giving examples from the story.

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troutmiller eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The title of the story was actually created to be ironic.  A rose is a symbol of love or romance.  It is also a representation of death.  The two most common places and times for roses are either special/romantic dates or funerals.  In this story, Faulkner creates this crazy woman who keeps herself from the community, and then gives her a lover who will not stay with her.  When they found him (Homer Barron) in the end, "the body had apparently once lain in the attitude of an embrace."  He was going to leave her, so she kept him forever.  This is not the type of "love" that constitutes a rose.

When Emily died, the relatives and community could hardly wait to see what was inside that house of hers.  However, no one was ever friendly enough with her to visit her or spend time with her. So those who showed to her funeral weren't really there for her.  They were curious to see what she was hiding.  "The women mostly out of curiosity to see the inside of her house, which no one save an old manservant---a combined gardener and cook-had seen in at least ten years."

These two instances that a rose represents are both at odds with how love and life should be.  That has a lot to do with why Faulkner titled it as such.  It ties in with how things deteriorate over time.  Life and love can be included in that.

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A Rose for Emily

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