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The Symbol of the Rose in William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily

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Length: 665 words (1.9 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Yellow      
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The Symbol of the Rose in William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily"


In William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily," Miss Emily Grierson is a lonely old woman, living a life void of all love and affection; although the rose only directly appears in the title, the rose surfaces throughout the story as a symbol. In contemporary times, the rose also symbolizes emotions like love and friendship. The rose symbolizes dreams of romances and lovers. These dreams belong to women, who like Emily Grierson, have yet to experience true love for themselves.

Throughout the life of Emily Grierson, she remains locked up, never experiencing love from anyone but her father. She lives a life of loneliness, left only to dream of the love missing from her life. The rose from the title symbolizes this absent love. It symbolizes the roses and flowers that Emily never received, the lovers that overlooked her.

The domineering attitude of Emily's father keeps her to himself, inside the house, and alone until his death. In his own way, Emily's father shows her how to love. Through a forced obligation to love only him, as he drives off young male callers, he teaches his daughter lessons of love. It is this dysfunctional love that resurfaces later, because it is the only way Emily knows how to love.

When Homer Baron, a construction worker, comes into Emily's life he sheds hope into her life. He offers Emily a chance to feel love and to receive the affection she has previously only dreamed of. T...

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