The rose is attributed to femininity. The rose is also known as the symbol of achievement, completion and perfection. In other words, a rose can be seen as symbolizing the tests and difficulties of life to help find inner harmony, union and happiness. The purity of the rose equalizes the bliss of nothingness and harmony. Faulkner uses the rose as a symbol of Emily and how she lived her life.
Take for example the symbolism of the colors of roses. William Faulkner helps to show the different sides of Emily like the colors of the rose. The white rose symbolizes purity, innocence and unconditional love. She has an unconditional love for her father that was hard for her to let him go. Faulkner states, "The day after his death all the ladies prepared to call at the house and offer condolence and aid, as is our custom. She told them that her father was not dead. She did that for three days, with the ministers calling on her, and the doctors, trying to persuade her to let them dispose of the body." (Faulkner, 90) .
Rose roses help to symbolize friendship, gentleness, softness and thankfulness. Emily had a way of showing all of these things. "Alive, Miss Emily had been a tradition, a duty, and a care; a sort of hereditary obligation upon the town." (Faulkner, 88) Faulkner lets the reader know right away how much her family, especially her father, had meant to the town. .
Yellow roses help to symbolize joy and friendship. Faulkner helps to show a friendship between Emily and Homer Barron, one that the towns people had lots of interest in. "Whenever you heard a lot of laughing anywhere about the square, Homer Barron would be in the center of the group. Presently we began to see him and Miss Emily on Sunday afternoon driving in the yellow-wheeled buggy and the matched team of bays from the livery stable." (Faulkner, 90) Even though the interest among the towns people were somewhat of mixed emotions, they still genuinely cared for Miss Emily and wanted her to be happy.