What Is The Significance Of The Title A Rose For Emily

What's the significance of the title "A Rose for Emily"?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

A rose is a life form, and there are few life forms in and around the home of Emily Grierson. Emily's home is an eyesore that is dilapidated and decaying, while the rest of the town is rebuilding and changing appropriately with the times. While a rose is symbolic of life, Emily's home "smelled of dust and disuse-- a close, dank smell." And Emily herself is described as "a small, fat woman in black." The narrator also describes her as a "... skeleton ... [who] looked bloated, like a body long submerged in motionless water, and of that pallid hue." Emily appears dead herself, long before she physically succumbs in the novel. Perhaps that is because she hides the death of her father and her lover, H.B., in her home, for as long as she can. The contrast between the title and Emily's dark surroundings serves to emphasize just how isolated and misunderstood Emily was.

Not only is a rose a form of life, but the title suggests that this is something being offered to Emily. One might offer a rose...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 824 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team