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A Rose for Emily

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A Rose for Emily

In “A Rose for Emily,” William Faulkner’s symbolic use of the “rose” is essential to the story’s theme of Miss Emily’s self-isolation. The rose is often a symbol of love, and portrays an everlasting beauty. The rose has been used for centuries to illustrate an everlasting type of love and faithfulness. Even when a rose dies, it is still held in high regard. Miss Emily’s “rose” exists only within the story’s title. Faulkner leaves the reader to interpret the rose’s symbolic meaning. Miss Emily was denied the possibility of falling in love in her youth, so subsequently she isolated herself from the world and denied the existence of change. Miss Emily was denied her “rose”, first by her father, then by the townspeople, and then Homer Barron. Through the explicit characterization of the title character, Miss Emily, and the use of the “rose” as a symbol, the reader is able to decipher that Homer Barron was Miss Emily’s only “rose.”

Miss Emily’s father denied her the ability to establish a “normal” relationship because of their family’s social position. She lost the will and the desire to do so, even after he died. The reader is aware that Miss Emily’s chances of having a “normal” relationship are hindered by her father’s obstinace. Miss Emily’s father was a prominent well-respected southern gentleman, and he would not allow his only daughter to be courted by just anyone. “None of the young men were quite good enough for Miss Emily and such. We had long thought of them as a tableau.” As most little girl’s do, Miss Emily idolized her father, and held him in high regard, even though he was a strong and forbidding man, who did not allow her to experience life. Miss Emily’s father “robbed” her of her ...

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...ad ever come to her, including her self-esteem, and the ability to conform to her father’s and society’s wishes. She isolated herself so that she could be who she was.

Miss Emily Grierson isolated herself from a society that would not accept her for who she was. She was viewed as someone to be pitied and scorned. Everyone deserves a rose in life, and yet Miss Emily was denied her rose from everyone that ever came into contact with her. Her father, the townspeople, and even Homer Barron denied her love. Miss Emily found her rose and she would not accept the loss of love. She gave up her freedom, and isolated herself so that she could be with the one that she loved, and remember the embrace that they once may have shared. Like a flower between the pages of a bible Miss Emily found that living with memories was better than living in a society that scorned her.
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