The title of a story is never accidental. The author usually
connects the title in some way to one of the literary elements,
such as theme, setting, or symbolism. In this story, the rose is
the biggest symbol of the story.
A rose stands for life, beauty, love, passion, and even death.
Miss Emily lived a life that involved much death and denial, but
she didn't have much love or passion. The rose is a tribute to her
life and her death, also serving to symbolize Homer Barron's
death. In the end, Homer was found all dried out and had been kept
in Emily's room in the attic for her to cherish. The irony is that
Emily's life wasn't beautiful at all, but a rose is one of
nature's most beautiful creations.
This symbolism is shown in Miss Emily's loneliness and her
inability to let go of the past. She needed to keep the past alive
in order to feel less lonely. Not willing to let her father's body
be taken shows this need because if she lets go of him, she is all
alone. When she met Homer, she paraded him in public, and "she
carried her head high enough even when we believed she had fallen."
Emily's sad life is also shown by the death smells coming from her
house, but the last scene tells it all. It is a tomb of her eternal
loneliness. "A thin, acrid pall as of the tomb seemed to lie
everywhere upon this room decked and furnished as for a bride."