In the short story "A Rose for Emily," no rose is ever mentioned. Why, then, do you believe Faulker gave this title to his story? What point of view does Faulkner use in this story, and do you believe it to be effective? Why or why not?

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A rose is typically a kind of flower that is gifted from a lover to his or her romantic love interest. In her youth, Emily was prevented by her father from actually having normal romantic relationships, because he believed that "None of the young men were quite good enough for Miss Emily and such." Even by the time she turned thirty—an age at which most marriageable young women were wedded and had become mothers—Emily was still single.

Later, after her father's death, Emily begins a relationship with a loud, working-class Yankee, hardly a man of whom her father would have approved. Further, this man, Homer Barron, publicly proclaims that "he liked men" and "was not a marrying man." Thus, he very likely did not treat Emily to the kind of courtship her father, or the traditions of the Old South, would have dictated; he doesn't exactly sound the type to bring her roses.

In titling the story "A Rose for Emily," Faulkner seems to suggest that Emily is a character deserving of our sympathy rather than our judgment. Forced into solitude by her father, she obviously desired a relationship with some man who would never leave her, and Faulkner's "rose" for her seems a friendly, loving sort of offering for and memorial to a woman who was isolated and then abandoned by her father and who, perhaps, lived in fear of being abandoned by the one other man to love her.

The narrator of this story is a first-person objective narrator. This means that the narrator is a participant in the events of the story and is telling it after those events have concluded. You can tell from the past-tense verbs throughout. This is a very effective perspective, as the narrator reveals information to the reader in such a way that we probably do not conclude that Emily murdered Homer any more than the people in town did. When she purchases arsenic and he disappears, they aren't even suspicious. This telling of the tale allows us to be as shocked as the townsfolk must have been when they found his moldering corpse in her bed.

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