Rose symbolism essay

Submitted By clarinetgirl1815
Words: 648
Pages: 3

Naomi Black
Mrs. Sturgeon
27 January 2015
Symbolism of the Rose in “A Rose for Emily” For centuries, roses have been the symbol of love all over the world. This holds true for the rose in William Faulkner’s short story “A Rose for Emily”, but love is not the only meaning. In this story, an old Southern spinster during the Reconstruction Era poisons her would-be-lover and puts his body in her bed. Years later, after Miss Emily dies, the neighbors find his remains beside her well-worn pillow. Though it might be difficult to find, the rose in “A Rose for Emily”, stands for the flaws in the old south, and the hope of preservation throughout the story. “’Dammit, sir,’ Judge Stevens said, ‘will you accuse a lady to her face of smelling bad.’” This quote from the story not only shows southern culture, but its flaws as well. The south has always been known for it’s charm, especially seen in the gentlemen. In the quote above the faults begin to show. If the men wouldn’t have been so gentlemanly towards Miss Emily, then they would have investigated more about the smell, and possible would discover the rotting corpse in her bed. How does the rose fit into this? At first glance, a rose seems perfect, elegant, and beautiful. In the same way, upon the first time hearing that the men don’t want to tell Miss Emily that she or her property smells bad we assume they are being considerate and gentlemanly. Upon closer examination of the story, just like the rose, we find that maybe the men were too cowardly to face her, and in doing so they missed out on finding Homer’s dead body. Take a closer look at the rose, and just like the flaws in the southern culture are revealed when take a deeper look, a second glance at the rose reveals its imperfections: a wilting petal, a brown leaf, and a broken stem with thorns covering it. In society today, it is found that we have a hard time just relaxing and enjoying the beauty of the moment. We try to preserve it though pictures, journals, scrap books, videos, pressings, memory books, etc. The rose is a common beauty I have seen attempted to be preserved through hanging upside down, drying it out, and pressing it in our bibles and journals. We know Miss Emily’s father was very strict and drove away any possible