Why is the story titled "A Rose for Emily"?

Quick answer:

Emily Grierson, who is the embodiment of southern traditions and values, lives in Jefferson, a small town in Mississippi. She remained practically untouched by the modern world. Emily's father dies, leaving her with his estate of ten thousand dollars and fifty acres of land. A year later she is still living alone in her father's house; and when she refuses to pay city taxes, the mayor sends Mr. Graves to speak with her about it. He returns saying that she was polite but firm in not paying, because she had no need for money. A few years later Emily is still living alone when Homer Barron arrives in town and soon after marries Miss Emily after their engagement begins a passionate love affair that lasts for several months.

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"A Rose for Emily," not "A Rose for MissEmily." In other words, the title deliberately takes away from the character the word that, in the context of the story, suggests the town's respect for her, her ability to intimidate the town, as well as the traditions, now disappearing, that involve referring to a white woman with prestige in this way.  Taking away the "Miss" brings Emily down to a more human level: she is no longer a monument and symbol of the past; in her death, she becomes equal to everyone else--a fact of death that Faulkner frequently considers. When we die, markers of gender, race, wealth, and status no longer matter.

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Why did William Faulkner write the story "A Rose for Emily"?

William Faulkner was born in Mississippi roughly thirty years after the end of the Civil War and died there in the early 1960s. Over the course of his literary career, he was deeply interested in observing the gradual evolution of the Old South to the modern. He created the fictional Yoknapatawpha County, which became the backdrop for his observation of the end of the Southern aristocracy that had begun in the colonial era. His own ancestors, particularly a great-grandfather, had been socially prominent in Mississippi, and Faulkner took inspiration from their reputation and legacy.

"A Rose for Emily," written in 1929, captures the decline and eventual demise of an aristocratic family whose last descendent, Emily Grierson, goes to extraordinary lengths to hold on to her family's social position and values. She stubbornly clings to an outdated agreement regarding her family's tax liability to the town, dresses in clothes from a bygone era, and ultimately chooses to secretly murder the Yankee who might have tarnished her reputation.

Perhaps, in the fictional Emily Grierson, Faulkner focused on what life was like for the daughters of the South who survived their powerful male ancestors and found themselves facing social and economic changes for which they were not prepared.

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Why did William Faulkner write the story "A Rose for Emily"?

It is always difficult to assess an author's intentions in writing a particular text; it is much easier to assess what messages the text actually manages to convey, and then we can assume—if the writer was a good one (and Faulkner was)—that this is what they meant by writing it. In this story, Faulkner seems to suggest that the old Southern standards for ladies are not only oppressive and outdated, but actually compel women to rebel in sometimes terrible ways. Miss Emily's father evidently felt that "None of the young men were quite good enough for Miss Emily [...]." As a result, she ended up quite alone when he died. She'd been taught to be a lady, "a slender figure in white in the background," and she was rendered utterly alone by her father's death. Made desperate by her oppression and subsequent abandonment, she took up with Homer Barron—a big, loud, Yankee "day-laborer"—a man her father would have hated. Then, rather than risk being abandoned by him too, she kills him. Confined to a very particular role, Miss Emily likely felt quite disempowered by her father's rigid and antiquated values and expectations; later, too proud to admit it, she did find a way to deal with the loneliness her father's rules caused.

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Why did William Faulkner write the story "A Rose for Emily"?

While it's almost impossible to know exactly why any author or writer writes something—it is simply their craft, their art—by studying Faulkner's background and writing style, we can gather some possible reasons why he came to write the story "A Rose for Emily."

"A Rose for Emily" falls under the genre of Southern Gothic, which is the style or genre Faulkner is most well-known for. His work often features grotesque characters, the antebellum south, and other tropes of the South. However, Faulkner said in a letter to Malcolm Cowley,

"I’m inclined to think that my material, the South, is not very important to me. I just happen to know it, and don’t have time in one life to learn another one and write at the same time."

In other words, Faulkner was just writing what he knew because he grew up and lived in the south, and "A Rose for Emily" is another example of him writing what he knew.

Also, something interesting to note is that "In 1929 he had purchased a large antebellum house, the Sheegog place, renaming it Rowan Oak." "A Rose for Emily" was published in 1930, and the story prominently features the large antebellum house of Miss Emily Grierson, so it's likely that Faulkner got the inspiration for the house in the story from his own house.

Also, it is noteworthy that Faulkner had many financial issues at this time, so he also could have written the story simply because he needed the money.

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Why did William Faulkner write the story "A Rose for Emily"?

David Minter's book William Faulkner: His Life and Work (1980) offers very interesting insight on the life of author William Faulkner, particularly on how the stories he heard in his youth directly affected his own choices, in terms of themes and writing styles.

As a young man, Faulkner grew up consistently listening to tales of the Civil War, directly from veterans themselves, including stories of his father and grandfather. He also would hear these stories in the town square of Oxford in Yoknapatawpha County, and even from his mammy, Miss Caroline, who would be his watchful guardian since he was a small child. Mammy Caroline, an ex-slave, was not just in charge of William, but she was also his caregiver, and much like a second mother to him, as well. 

This being said, Southern legends made a huge mark in the overall psyche of Faulkner, who was, by nature, already a fantastic observer of history, nature, and art. The imagery of the once-almighty South falling apart under the attacks of the unlikable Yankees was one which reigned supreme  among the minds of those who participated actively in the Civil War, and the generations which immediately followed. Even today there is a particular respect rendered to the history of the Confederacy, despite of the controversy caused by the use of the flag and other symbols related to it.

Back to the story, Faulkner himself had a lot to say about the character of Emily, specifically

...Here was a woman who had had a tragedy, an irrevocable tragedy and nothing could be done about it, and I pitied her and this was a salute…to a woman you would hand a rose.

The tragedy is not just that of Emily's alone. It is the tragedy of those who feel just like her: vulnerable, scared, alone, and unable to shift toward the present.

From a social and historical perspective, which permeates the story, Faulkner also warns those who cannot move away from the past to look at Emily and see what the dangers are. Faulkner surely noted that the stories of the South seem to be stuck in time; as if the Southerners forget what took place, they will feel like the accomplices of the invaders. However, all that is left of those who refuse to change, are the mere shells of what once was great, and now is no longer. Like Emily, those who refuse to move on become "fallen monuments", which later on become "eyesores among eyesores". 

Therefore, the story is written as a cautionary tale on the dangers of rejecting the reality of change. It is also written as a way to honor those who are stuck in that vicious cycle, against their will, and seem unable to be set free. 

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Why is the story called "A Rose for Emily" even though there are no roses?

Roses need not be literally spoken of to have power.  Think of roses and their various roles in human life.  Roses are often present at weddings, a promise of love despite hardship, the combination of pain and beauty. 

However, roses because of their strong odor, are also used in funeral homes to cover the stench of decay.  In Faulkner's day as well, older ladies, those of the late 1800s, favored rose water parfumes as a means of hiding bodily odor (no deodorants then, you know.)  Emily tries hard to be something she is not...young, engaging, marriageable. 

The covering of stench could be applied to a variety of characters:  the town in its neglect of one of its own, Emily in covering the death of her lover, the dead flowers symbolic of Homer's apparently neglected promise. 

Additionally, it has been traditional for brides and lovers to press and preserve roses.  The rose of the title then, may symbolize Emily's stagnant dreams for a life with Homer.

Or, one could view the rose as the narrator's offer of friendship, extended too late.  Like a clipped rose, life itself is short and once it is gone, the rose can never be restored to its previous glory. 

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Why is the story called "A Rose for Emily" even though there are no roses?

An intriguing question. Well, first of all, remember that this is not strictly the case. The word "rose" appears several times in the story, especially in the final section, with "rose-shaded lights." However, the main reason this is the title is that what Miss Emily wants above all else is to be wooed. She wants love to be freely given to her, and when it is not, she kills it, taking the "rose" (her loved one) by violence, and killing it.

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Why is the story called "A Rose for Emily" even though there are no roses?

The rose is symbolic...a sort of nod in her direction for her success as an aristocratic representative, the last of her kind, and the conquerer of Homer Baron.

The rose is also symbolic of love and of her life.  It was beautiful, soft, protected, with a few thorns.  Her southern heritage enveloped her and protected her in the dullness of the rules that she followed almost without question.  Her father also protected her from marriage to unsuitable men, and then from taxes as he died leaving her alone with Toby.

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Why do you suppose Faulkner calls his story "A Rose for Emily"?

Roses carry so many possible symbolic associations that could apply to Miss Emily.  One that I think works particularly well is the idea that we uses roses as a tribute.  We give roses after stage performances; we put a wreath of roses around the winning horse at the Kentucky Derby, and we lay roses on funeral caskets.  This story is then a rose, or a tribute, to Miss Emily.  While all readers would agree that Miss Emily's actions are abhorent, the narrator does succeed in creating some sympathy for her as well.  Mentioning the actions of her father and her isolation from the newer generation at least begins to explain how she could have killed Homer and kept his body all those years.  The narrator knows he has a great story to tell and leaves us shocked in the end, but along the way he talks about the town's relationship with Miss Emily and suggests that she was "a duty and a care" and uses figurative language like "monument" and "idol in a niche" to describe her.  The story as a whole serves as a justification or rationale for her actions and in a way then is a tribute -- a rose -- for Emily.

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Why do you suppose Faulkner calls his story "A Rose for Emily"?

The title of this short story has been the context of criticism for many years and will likely continue to be debated even in your classroom.  Some have asked, why say simply "A Rose for Emily," rather than "A Rose for Miss Emily."  Some have asked, "What about roses?  Nowhere else in the story mentions flowers of any kind."  Finally, the questions that plague most readers and critics are, "In the end, did Faulkner wish to pay a tribute to Emily or was he mocking her?"

Despite the questions and arguments, a couple things are clear.  First, the title is in direct reference to the fact that Miss Emily is dead and the story opens with her funeral.  Next, this title is ambiguous and it adds to the rest of the mystery held in the story.  Even though this story is considered modern, it is also considered gothic.  Faulkner likely intentionally created a title that would leave the reader with such questions as this does.

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Why does Faulkner title the narrative "A Rose for Emily"?

In 1959, Faulkner gave an interview in which he answered the question why he titled the story, "A Rose for Miss Emily."

Essentially, Faulkner said that the story was about a woman who had "no life at all."  Her father, the real villain of the story, had prevented Emily from having a normal life--he sent away every eligible suitor she had when she was of marriageable age because they were, from the father's viewpoint, unsuitable.  So, her life centered on the care of her father, and she was deprived of a normal upper-class woman's life--finding love, getting married, having children and a home.  Instead, she spent her productive years taking care of an intensely selfish father who "wanted a housekeeper."  Faulkner then said the natural instinct for domestic life, if it is repressed, comes out "very likely in a tragic form," in Miss Emily's case, as a completely perverted attempt to replicate the normal life that she couldn't have.

In the end, according to Faulkner, even though she was a murderess, she deserved such a simple thing as a beautiful rose to make up for the life she was never allowed to have.

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

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.

http://www.enotes.com/rose-emily

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

As the first answer notes, the Faulkner believes that Emily deserves a rose, but in a 1959 interview, he explains exactly why he titled the story "A Rose for Emily."

First, Emily began life as a young woman with "aspirations to find love and then a husband and family."  But as we know, Emily's father--a stern, harsh aristocrat--denied her a normal life, preferring to keep Emily under his control in part by finding that none of Emily's suitors is ever quite good enough for her.  As Faulkner himself puts it,

[Emily was] brow-beaten and kept down by her father, a selfish man who did not want her to leave home because he wanted a housekeeper. (Faulkner, "On 'A Rose for Emily,'" fromFaulkner in the University, 1959)

Faulkner goes on to explain that Emily's horrible crime is the result of the "sad and tragic manifestation" of Emily's inner conflict between what she desires--a normal life of love, husband, and children--and the denial of that life by a father who should have had her interests, not his, in mind.  In a sad and perverted way, Emily constructs her version of the perfect life--but, in the process, breaks the moral and civil laws she is brought up to honor.

In the end, Faulkner himself bestows upon Emily the rose, a symbol of the love she so horribly chases throughout a life blighted by her father's selfishness and cruelty.  In Faulkner's words, the rose symbolizes the "simple things which all human beings want."

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

Since the story "A Rose for Emily" never mentions a rose, readers are often confused by the title. William Faulkner is said to have answered the question by declaring that the story itself is a tribute to Miss Emily, so the rose stands for an honor bestowed. The author's explanation need not be the final word in discussions of literary interpretations, however, so other theories for the rose in the title have been suggested. 

One idea is that it represents romance. Roses are the most common flower we associate with romantic relationships nowadays; people often send roses to their beloved on Valentine's Day. Miss Emily's romance with Homer Barron is the defining moment of her life--a time when she appeared to be happy-go-lucky and in love, but a time from which she could not move on, as exhibited by her murder of Homer and subsequent preservation of his corpse in her bed. So although the story is ultimately about murder, it is also about romance.

Some have suggested that Homer's corpse is the rose--a dried, pressed rose as a memento of a happy time. When Emily's bedroom is opened for the first time in forty years, the narrator describes the rose-tinted color of the room. This could signify that the room itself is the rose, preserved for Emily's reflection for decades after she ended Homer's life. 

Finally, the rose is a symbol of secrecy. The term sub rosa, or under the rose, means secretly. Roses were carved on ceilings and on confessionals to remind people of the confidentiality of the conversations that took place there. Faulkner's story is full of secrets: the Baptist minister won't divulge what happened in his meeting with Emily; Emily won't tell the druggist what she wants the poison for; Emily's servant Tobe never talks to anyone about what goes on at his mistress's house; and Emily keeps Homer's death and interment in her bedroom a secret for forty years. Thus the title could be another way of saying "Emily's Secret." 

Faulkner's interesting and enigmatic title for his short story allows many interpretations. 

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

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

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

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.  

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Why is the story titled "A Rose for Emily"?

There have been many questions about the title of this short story. What does it mean? What is the rose? What does it symbolize? Where is the rose in the story?

I did a little searching and was able to find a reproduction of the transcript of a series of interviews William Faulkner gave to students at the University of Virginia, where he was writer-in-residence 1957-1958. These interviews were collected and published as Faulkner in the University in 1959 (reprinted in the book Literature and Its Writers). In this interview, he is asked the very question "What does the title mean?" His answer:

Oh, it's simply the poor woman had had no life at all.  Her father had kept her more or less locked up and then she had a lover who was about to quit her, she had to murder him.  It was just "A Rose for Emily"--that's all.

He went on to say that the title was "allegorical":

the meaning was, here was a woman who had had a tragedy, an irrevocable tragedy and nothing could be done about it, and I pitied her and this was a salute . . . to a woman you would hand a rose.

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Why is this work called "A Rose for Emily"?

William Faulkner's sympathetic explanation of his title points to the paradoxical remark that he once made, "I love the South; I hate the South."  So, while he has symbolized the decadence of the Old South, Faulkner has also paid tribute to it.

At the funeral, the men's having dressed symbolically in their Confederate uniforms leads to this underlying tribute to the South.  While they hollowly imagine that they have courted Miss Emily and danced with her, they do also praise her as part of the legendary South that refuses to die.  For, although Emily is humiliated by Homer's leaving her and his lower class standing, like the redoubtable South of old, Emily rises again when he returns and defeats the Northerner by killing him.  Thus, Faulkner's rose is both a symbol of sympathy for Emily, and an acknowledgement of her passion and Southern pride, proving the narrators' observance that "with nothing left, she would have to cling to that which had robbed her"; namely, the pride, honor, and "gumption" of the Old South.

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Why is this work called "A Rose for Emily"?

William Faulkner's story "A Rose for Emily" holds close to the traditions of the Old South.  In that time, much like  the Arthurian legends, women were to be guarded, cherished, and treasured. Miss Emily Grierson, the story's main character, secluded herself from the rest of society, symbolic of a time that was passing away.  Her father had protected her so much that he prevented her from living a normal life: no beaus or even friends. When he died,  Colonel Satoris, the town's mayor, lied to keep Emily from having to pay taxes for her property.  Early in the story, the reader is told:

Alive, Miss Emily had been a tradition, a duty, and a care; sort of hereditary obligation upon the town..."

But the new south did not find the traditions necessary.  The town would require Miss Emily to pay her taxes and would place a street number on her house. 

The story begins with the funeral of Miss Emily.  Her death rings in the passing of the genteel way of life, replaced by the new generation's crass way of doing things.  Both Miss Emily and her house deteriorated through time and neglect, a transitory passing from the ethereal beauty  of the past to the ugliness of the present.

Throughout the story, the main character is endowed with the respectful title of a spinster: Miss.  However, with the gruesome discovery in the upstairs bridal chamber and a gray hair on the pillow, the author fails to use the designation in the title of the story.  In death she now just Emily, a lonely woman rejected by the town and the man she loved.

A rose, never actually seen on the story, was given as a token of friendship, beauty, or love in Faulkner's south.  In the title, the rose represents the ambivalence of Emily herself. Miss Emily deserved a rose.  Yet, she garnered not one.  The town had not pulled her in, come to her rescue, nor treasured her as a remnant of the past.  Instead it had shunned her, gossiped about her, and allowed her to wither away like the dying petals of a rose.

Miss Emily and her secret life slip into the reader's memory: the rose-colored room with the dust and cobwebs; the bridal dress waiting to be worn; and Homer tucked away like a rose pressed between the pages of a book, seldom used, but at times opened and held.

Faulkner himself explained the reason for his choice of the title:

It [The title] was an allegorical title; the meaning was, here was a woman who has had a tragedy, an irrevocable tragedy and nothing could be done about it and I pitied her and this was a salute...to a woman you would hand a rose.

In the end,  Emily received her rose.

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Why did Faulkner call his story "A Rose for Emily"? What is the connection of the rose to the story?

"A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner ranks as a masterpiece in American Literature.  Miss Emily Grierson, the protagonist, is an enigmatic character.  The reader feels as though he knows her, but she is profoundly mysterious.

The story spans over seventy four years: the time of Emily's life. Jefferson, her home town, represents all of the small southern towns in the south and in Faulkner's writing, Mississippi. Emily's life begins pre-Civil War when the "Old South" cherished women. 

In the "Old South"  in the upper and middle class, men protected, cherished, loved, and dominated women.  Men took care of everything outside of the house. Inside the house, women spent their time preparing for the men to return and eat or pleasure themselves. 

This was the life style of Emily with one exception. Her father reigned over the entirety of her life while he was alive.  He  kept her from happiness by sending away or rejecting all of her suitors or boyfriends. He wanted her for himself as his companion [not in a perverted way], and he would have what he wanted.

Unfortunately, when he died, Emily was about thirty years old, and in those times she would have been called a spinster or old maid.  She did have one boyfriend after her father died, but he left her.  Although the reader is not told why, it may have been because her father left her penniless.  What a selfish man to have kept her from happiness and then to leave her with nothing but her house.

Life was not easy for Emily.  She was alone, looked upon as an oddity, and left to her own devices.  As the south changed, Emily did not.  She did not accept death.  When her father died, she kept him from the undertaker for three days saying that he was not dead.  At the age of 65, the new council men tried to make Emily  pay her taxes,  and she referred them to Colonel Sartoris who had been dead for many years. 

Of course, the one that she never let go  was Homer Barron.  He tried to leave her, but she did not allow it.  With the help of her servant, Emily kept this man all to herself for about forty years.  Evidently, the town knew something about it:

Already we knew that there was one room in that region above stairs which no one had seen in forty years, and which would have to be forced.They waited until Miss Emily was decently in the ground before they opened it.

The town knew and did nothing while she was alive.  Insanity ran in her family the gossips told the reader.  But no one in the town was willing to intervene and help Emily.

In reviewing the story, a critic asked Faulkner about the rose in the title.  It was never mentioned in the story.  Faulkner replied that if anyone in the world deserved something beautiful and representative of a more genteel life it was Miss Emily.  She had suffered long enough.  So the author gave Emily Grierson her rose in the title of the story. 

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Why did the writer of "A Rose for Emily" use a rose in the title?

You can find many different perspectives on the symbolism of the rose and its meaning through this link on eNotes:

http://www.enotes.com/rose-emily/group/search?q=symbolism+of+the+rose

Thanks! :)

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Why did Faulkner title the story "A Rose for Emily"

Emily is a sad character. She's been "neglected" by her father. She's been the subject of gossip by the people of the town and from the looks of it, she was going to lose another person in her life in Homer Baron. I think the title comes from an homage to Emily Grierson by Faulkner. The title, in a way, allows us to feel bad for Emily and not be entirely creeped out and dejected by the fact that she's been sleeping with a skeleton for years. It's as if as Faulkner was writing the story, he was thinking that he had to ensure there was sympathy for Emily and that sympathy would be an overriding factor, not just an afterthought.

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Why does the story use rose in the title "A Rose for Emily"?

There is actually no mention of a rose anywhere in the story, and that is part of what makes the title of the story all the more intriguing and significant.  In order to come up with an idea about the rose reference in the title you must first brainstorm what you know about roses and what you associate with roses.  Your list could include some of the following ideas:

1.  Roses are beautiful, but deceptive, as they have thorns.

2.  We associate roses with love -- white ones for a wedding, red to express true love, etc.

3.  We use roses as a flower of tribute -- think of weddings, funerals, pageant winners, actresses after a performance, even the winner of the Kentucky Derby horse race is given a wreath of roses to wear around its neck.

With all that in mind, you need to then connect those ideas to the character of Miss Emily.  The narrator of the story tells a shocking story of Miss Emily and her keeping of the murdered body of Homer Barron in her upstairs room, but he also spends a good deal of the story explaining what kind of person Miss Emily was and how she was treated in her life.  He ends up creating a character that we could have some sympathy for.  While no one would say it is OK that she killed a man so that he wouldn't leave her, the narrator explains how her father drove away all of suitors and how the town treats Emily with a mix of pity and annoyance through the years.  This story then is a tribute of sorts to Miss Emily.  The narrator is careful to give us a more sympathetic and developed characterization of a sad and pathetic woman, and that is a kind of tribute to her, rather than merely presenting the shocking gruesomeness of her actions with and against Homer.

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Why does Faulkner title the story "A Rose for Emily"? What is the reason for the word rose in the title?

This question has been answered many times. Please see the links below:

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What is the story "A Rose for Emily" about?

This story is about an eccentric old lady who lives in a small town in the South. She comes from an important family that was highly revered by the town. Emily refuses to adapt to the times and has little involvement with any of the town members as she grows older. She feels no need to explain herself to anyone or conform to any of their norms. The town remains somewhat infatuated with rumors about her.

Later, we learn that she has a dark secret that she has kept for many years. She poisoned only man she ever dated, Homer Barron, and kept his corpse in a bed in her house. We later learn she had lain in the position of an embrace with the corpse until her hair had turned gray.

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What is the story "A Rose for Emily" about?

I don't understand your question.  Have you read Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily" and you don't understand it?  Or have you not read it and you want someone to tell you what happens so you don't have to read it?

I'll tell you what's at the center of the story in case you don't understand it, but I won't give you plot details so you don't have to read it.

Faulkner often writes about the South in the period following the Civil War.  The South was devastated by the war:  its economy was destroyed, and most of the battles and raids and destruction took place in the South.  This story is about the recovery, or lack of it.  It is a bit of an allegory about refusing to let go of a glorious past. 

Emily, once a member of the aristocracy, has been "reduced" to a "commoner," so to speak.  And she refuses to accept the reduced status. 

The story is allegorically about the lengths a person will go to in order to hold on to a glorious past. 

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What is the story "A Rose for Emily" about?

Literally, the story is about an old woman (well, she is not old the whole time) who is very desperate for love.  She has a guy who she thinks she is going to marry but he, apparently, dumps her.  Something like thirty years later, she dies and her house is inspected.  When people look through it, they find that she has had the guy's dead body up in her room the whole time and has been sleeping with it.

In terms of message, the story is about what lengths a person can be driven to when she is desperate.  It is about the damage that can be done to a person's psyche when she is isolated and friendless.

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Why is the name Emily selected by William Faulkner for his short story "A Rose for Emily"?

I can think of three reasons that the name Emily may have been chosen for the title of William Faulkner's short story. First, Emily has always been a popular name in Western culture, so the author may have wanted to show that she was of common heritage. On the other hand, the name "Emily" is derived from the old Latin/Roman names Aemilia and aemulus. In Latin, aemulus is defined as "rival," a distinction that Faulkner may have wanted to illustrate. Aemilia (or Aimilia) was one of the most important families in ancient Rome, and many of its members held high positions for centuries. Faulkner may have chosen this name to symbolize the former power of Emily's own family name, the Griersons. Additionally, as the other post mentioned, Faulkner may also have sought a comparison to poet Emily Dickinson who, like Emily Grierson, lived a sheltered life (rarely leaving her home) under a domineering father before dying a maiden spinster with no children to carry on the name.

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