Why does Faulkner choose "A Rose for Emily" as the title of his short story?

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ask996 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

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Understand that one cannot really know why Faulkner chose this title unless he was to actually tell us. There are reasonable inferences that we can make about this title. The rose has long been recognized as a flower of great venerability. It was the symbol of the war fought between two royal houses in England. The Griersons were local, southern royalty, so it is a fitting title in this sense. In addition, roses, while beautiful, do have thorns. Clearly, Miss Emily Grierson started life out as a beautiful young woman with lots of beaus. However, as her life progressed so did the thorns, and in her later years many people felt the bitter prick of her thorniness. Finally, roses are delicate flowers, and if not attended to with great finesse and regularity, they wither and die. It is not difficult to see how Miss Emily decays right before the eyes of not only the reader but but the town's people as well.

Enotes has some great links for further research at the following.


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