A Rose For Emily and Other Short Stories

A Rose for Emily

when asked at a seminar at the University of Virginia about the meaning of the title "A Rose for Emily" Faulkner replied, "oh, it's simply the poor woman had no life at all. her father kept her more or less locked up and then she has a lover who was about to quit her, she has t murder him, it was just 'A Rose for Emily' this all" in another interview, asked the same question, he replied, “I pitied her and his was a salute, just as if you were to make a gesture, a salute, to anyone; to a woman you would hand a rose, as you would lift a cup of sake to a man.” What do you make of Faulkner’s response? What else might the title suggest?

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Faulkner himself described his title for the story as an allegorical title; the meaning was, "here was a woman who has had a tragedy, a 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." I'm not inclined to disagree with Faulkner. I think there is a sense of pitty for the woman. The rose might have the added symbolism of momentary beauty. Emily was beautiful in her youth but time is hard on that type of asthetic beauty. Like the rose, her youth was fleeting.