Why did the author name the story "A Rose for Emily"?

Expert Answers
engtchr5 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
Symbolically speaking, roses have had many meanings in literature throughout the years: Love, Beauty, Temporal Perfection, and other meanings have all been assigned to this flower. In this case, however, the "rose" which the narrator is offering is one of tribute, much like one placed atop a gravesite or a casket. Obviously, the flower is strictly metaphorical, but it is put forth with the notion that he is paying respects to Emily, nearly identical to "paying one's respects" at a ceremony related to death (funeral, memorial service, etc.). In addition, it could be perceived that the type of respect he is showing is near-amorous, like that of a schoolboy offering his "crush" a single picked flower. Either metaphor is supportable through the text, and it remains up to the reader to decide which is most appropriate.
kwoo1213 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The rose in the title could be the narrator's (or author's) way of issuing a tribute to Miss Emily.  The narrator seems to have sympathy for the narrator and never speaks badly of her.  He (I'm assuming the narrator is a "he") only conveys what the townspeople say and think of her, for example. The reader can sense, through the narrator's writing style and diction,some sympathy for Miss Emily.  Because the narrator discusses some of her background and how her father isolated her so much, the reader can find sympathy for her, too.  

myboner4u | Student

i think this is like saying a "tribute" for emily. in the story, the narrator seems to have this deep empathy to the fate of emily. there is a deep understanding of the situation that she faced or grew up with. in this sense, it clearly showed that despite of the attitude the emily portrayed and the crime she had committed, the narrator seemed to acknowledge the woman inside her facade. so the rose only symbolizes respect for emily.

vlad3251988 | Student

the title symbolizes internal love

texbell | Student

The rose is this remarkable story is not an image, a tribute or any other symbolism normally attributed to the "giving of a rose". In fact, the rose is Miss Emily herself, "the faded rose of days gone by," (from Tanya Tucker's hit 'Delta Dawn'). Miss Emily's inability to step out of the expectations of aristocracy into which she was born and to acknowledge change has caused her to fade into insanity. She could not accept the death of her father, and clung to her portrait of him even after giving up his body. She could not accept the novelty of a "free postal delivery" or of her need, in the new world order, to pay her taxes. And above all, she could not accept the fact that Homer Barron would not marry her, after escorting her publicly through town. She could not accept renewal, and so she faded into a world of insanity in which all things would ever be the same. A faded rose of days gone by...