November 11, 2012
Significance of the Title "A Rose for Emily"
"A Rose for Emily" is a rather chilling account of the adult life of Miss Emily Grierson. The story is set in a small Mississippi town that struggles between tradition and modernization. This story begins in approximately 1935 with Miss Emily's death. This story contains a great deal of mystery and symbolism. Almost everything in this story can be viewed as a symbol, right down to the title. The title of William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily" may not appear to be linked to the story itself, but upon analysis, it tells much more about the story than one may think.
Upon finishing the story for the first time, it may seem as though the title does not directly relate to the story itself. However, there does appear to be a significance of correlation between the title and the story. In all actuality, there may be multiple ways to validly analyze the meaning of the title. First, there is no specific mention of a rose (flower) for Emily anywhere in the story. This fact may seem puzzling. The word "rose", however, does appear four times within the story. The first mention is when the townsmen came to discuss Emily's taxes with her and "when they sat down a faint dust rose sluggishly about their thighs" (Faulkner 288). The second verb usage is when "they rose" because she entered the room (288). The word rose is then used as a color two times in the end of the story when the room where she had kept Homer Barron's dead body was discovered. The room had rose-colored curtains and rose-shaded lights (293). It seems as though the author likes to play on the word rose to create different feelings and emotions towards Emily and things pertaining to her awkward life.