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The Mystery of the Rose and the Narrator in A Rose for Emily by Faulkner

Good Essays
While one of the most traditional interpretations of “A Rose for Emily” is the variety of meanings for the “rose” presented in the title and how the “rose” fits in with the story. Laura Getty states in her article many varied perspectives that many could ponder when identifying what the “rose” stands for. She states many possible theories that depict what the “rose” means, including theories of other writers that help support her own theory and also that adds another way that most might not consider at first. Most of the interpretations of the rose are all focused on the “internal elements” (Getty 231) rather than the actual rose itself. Getty theorizes about certain characters, buildings, anything that symbolizes a rose in the story as…show more content…
This story made the rose the emblem of silence, and since the fifth century B.C., a rose carved on the ceilings of dining and drawing rooms where European diplomats gathered enjoined all present to observe secrecy about any matter discussed sub rosa, or “under the rose” [. . .] The rose was also carved over the Roman Catholic confessional as a symbol of silence, and sub rosa became well known [. . .] as a term for “strict confidence,” “complete secrecy,” or “absolute privacy.” (Getty qtd Hendrickson167-68).
The point that Getty makes by stating this quote in his article is that the rose’s true meaning will only be known by the author therefore making it a form of sub rosa; that the only person who knows of Emily’s actions up and till her death, is only the author. “The ‘Rose’ of the title extends far beyond any one flower or literary allusion in its implications for the story’s structure. The ‘Rose’ represents secrecy: the confidential relationship between the author and his character, with all of the privileged information withheld.” (232) I agree with Getty’s argument in that the real meaning of the rose will only be known to the author. Now that we know that the meaning of the rose will remain an unknown secret, Faulkner also keeps us on the edge to who’s voice the narrator represents. Thomas Klein argues many widespread points but in the end he concludes that the author’s voice takes on a group
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