Why do you think Faulkner chose the title, "A Rose for Emily"? Do you think the rose symbolizes anything in the story?Except for the title, roses are never mentioned in the story.

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amy-lepore eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Roses are used as a tribute or celebration at many different functions--funerals, garden parties, grand parties for heads-of-state, and on church alters to celebrate the births of children and anniversaries of their parents' marriages. 

Therefore, Faulkner titles the story "A Rose for Emily" as a sort of tribute.  It's a nod in her direction for her stateliness, for what she represented--the Old South and all its glory.  He is giving her kudos for the guts it took for her to live her life the way she did.  Believe it or not, it takes an enormous amount of nerve and strength to live by other people's rules all the time.  Once her father dies, she continues to live by his rules with the exception of Homer Baron.  Once she becomes aware that Homer intends to leave, she does the only thing she can to protect her family name and her reputation.  Faulkner admires her strength of purpose and the woman she is.  He gives her a rose for all of these reasons.  Of course, we only learn about all of this after the fact.  She is already dead, and the funeral is either over or in the making.  The rose could also be in honor of this.  Remember that roses are beautiful...just like Emily, the south, the old way of living...but no rose is without a thorn.  These thorns would represent the tragedies in Emily's life as well--the fall of the south, her father's death, her financial ruin, the murder of Homer Baron.

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A Rose for Emily

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