What color is Emily's rose in "A Rose for Emily"?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Despite the title of William Faulkner's Southern gothic short story, "A Rose for Emily," Emily never receives a rose, but it is this fact that nonetheless directly relates to the title. The red rose, symbolic of love throughout most of the world, was something for which Emily Grierson desperately desired but never received. Emily's father seemed to be distant and domineering, yet he may have given her what little love she ever received. Emily had few friends and few suitors. When Homer Barron appeared in town, it appeared that this outsider might provide her with the love that she so wanted. But Homer deserted her, leaving her to spend the rest of her life as the lonely spinster she had already become. There are flowers present at her funeral, but no roses are mentioned: The only suggestion of a rose is found in the upstairs bedroom where Homer's body was found. The room was

... decked and furnished as for a bridal: upon the valance curtains of faded rose color. Upon the rose-shaded lights...

It was the color of the flower that Emily so yearned but never received.