Why does William Faulkner title this story "A Rose for Emily”?

Asked on by david72890

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troutmiller | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

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There are a couple reasons why the title includes a rose in it.  First of all, two main subjects are apparent in this story: death and love.  The opening scene has Emily after she has passed away.  The rose could be the parting flower used to bury a loved one.  Roses represent death in this aspect. Death occurs 3 times in this story, too.  Her father died, Homer died, and finally Emily died.

Second, the rose is known for romance and love.  Emily never received love from anyone.  Her father never let men near her, and Homer only wanted to move on with his life.  He would never settle down.  So the title could mean that she finally TOOK a rose for herself.  She had to do what she had to do in order to keep "love" in her life.  In doing so, she had to kill her lover.  So death and love are intertwined in this aspect.

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