A ROSE FOR EMILY CommonLit Answers 2024 [Free Access]

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A ROSE FOR EMILY CommonLit Answers key

Discussion Questions & Answers

Following are our answers based on the questions provided:

Q.1. Is there evidence the townspeople knew that Emily had a break with reality earlier than when they find the body at the end of the story? Cite evidence from the text to support your answer.
Ans: The townspeople had clues that Emily had a break from reality earlier, but didn’t acknowledge it. The first instance of this was when Emily’s father died and she, “told them that her father was not dead” (Faulkner). Emily refused to believe that her father was dead, and turned away everybody who tried to offer their condolences or dispose of his corpse. She did this for three days until she eventually broke down. This shows that she does not acknowledge reality out of fear of being alone and to maintain normality. Then, she finally accepts it and breaks down. It then says that people did not believe she was crazy and was simply grieving. The text also states “People in our town, remembering how old lady Wyatt, her great-aunt, had gone completely crazy at last” (Faulkner). This quote shows that the townspeople, unknowingly, are starting to compare Emily’s crazy great-aunt with Emily, believing that she, too, might have gone crazy. But, again, they didn’t fully acknowledge it as they kept using the excuse that she was just grieving and lonely. They seem to suspect her craziness but keep excusing it since they pity her.

Q.2. The story “A Rose for Emily” features several symbols. Identify one and explain its significance to the plot. Why is the story titled “A Rose for Emily”? Consider any mentions of roses or flowers in the passage.
Ans: The symbol of the Roses is used to represent how Emily’s name will never be forgotten by the citizens of Jefferson. When Mrs. Carmichael asks Jughaid why he has planted Miss Emily’s roses in front of her home and over her grave after she dies, he replies “So her name ain’t never forgot nor her grave either” (40). This shows how even after death Emily is getting the attention she deserves by having rose bushes planted over and above her final resting place. The roses also show how Emily’s name will always be remembered throughout the community whether alive or dead.

Q.3. In the context of this passage, what drives a person to betray? Cite evidence from this text, your own experience, or other literature, art, and history in your answer.
Ans: In this passage, Miss Emily is seen as being so evil that even Judge Stevens wants to feel sorry for her and gives her a final goodbye because of his feelings towards her. When Jughaid shows up and tells the townspeople that Miss Emily has died and is buried with roses around her, Judge Stevens replies “the judge won’t feel so bad when he sees this” (41). This shows how even though Emily has caused the townspeople a lot of stress by her actions, the Judge still wants to show her some respect in death rather than while she is alive. This action shows that evil can be defeated and that even the evilest of people deserve a final goodbye or recognition.

Q.4. The title of this unit is “Something Wicked.” In what ways was Miss Emily wicked or evil? Cite quotes and details from the text to support your answer.
Ans: In this passage, Miss Emily is seen as being wicked throughout the community. She is viewed as an outsider due to her family line and also because she wanted to marry Homer Barron when he betrayed her causing her to change who she was because of the loneliness she felt due to not having anyone around her anymore. This is why Miss Emily is seen as also being wicked because she is not like everyone else and her family line causes her to be an outsider.

Q.5. Name a character from another text we have read who is similar to Miss Emily, in that they put their needs and desires above others’ welfare. What makes their actions so wicked?
Ans: In the text we have read “The Lottery”, Mrs. Summers is a character similar to Miss Emily in that she puts her needs and desires above others’ welfare. One way in which Mrs. Summers does this is by stoning Tessie Hutchinson to death even though Tessie has not done anything wrong. She did this because she participated in the lottery every year and needed it to be a success so that she could keep doing it year after year. This shows how Mrs. Summers is willing to sacrifice someone else’s well-being for her own benefit even though she doesn’t have to.


Assessment Questions & Answers

Following are our answers based on the questions provided:

Q.1. Which of the following best identifies two major themes of the text?
Ans: betrayal and revenge

Q.2. What does the term “august” most closely mean as it is used in paragraph 3?
Ans: It refers to respect or higher status.

Q.3. What is the relationship between Emily and the town?
Ans: They feel sorry for her because she is crazy, like her aunt Lady Wyatt

Q.4. How does the change or gap in generations complicate the relationship between Miss Emily and the town?
Ans: As the older generation dies and the younger generation comes into power, they rebel against treating Miss Emily differently.

Q.5. How does the structural timeline of the passage help create suspense?
Ans: The timeline begins and ends with Emily’s death, recalling memories of Emily and her strange shuttered life, thus building suspense toward the big reveal of Emily’s home.

Q.6. Which of the following images best serves as foreshadowing in the passage?
Ans: the smell coming from Miss Emily’s home

Q.7. How does the arrival of Homer Barron most affect Miss Emily?
Ans: She is looked down on by the town for having a scandalous relationship with Homer.

Q.8. In paragraph 5, the narrator describes Miss Emily’s living room. What does this setting reveal about Miss Emily?
Ans: Even though she is regarded as a high-class lady, she lives in squalor and poverty.

Q.9. How does the description of Miss Emily’s hair in paragraph 54 affect the story’s impact on readers?
Ans: It helps create shock at the end of the story when a gray hair is found on the pillow.

Q.10. What effect do Faulkner’s choices about how to reveal the events of Miss Emily’s life have on the reader?
Ans: Faulkner’s choice about how to reveal the events gives the story a mysterious, suspenseful, and disorienting feeling. The lack of chronological order is very disorienting, especially since it doesn’t make the timeline of these events obvious at times. Also, it mostly changes topic by sections, but at times it’ll change by paragraphs which is even more confusing and disorienting.
For example, in the text it says, “Up to the day of her death at seventy-four it was still that vigorous iron-gray, like the hair of an active man. From that time on her front door remained closed, save for a period of six or seven years, when she was about forty, during which she gave lessons in china-painting” (Faulkner). There is a sudden change by paragraph from talking about Homer’s disappearance, followed by Emily’s hair, followed by her death, and back to her giving painting classes years ago. It’s very weird and disorienting since the story seems very disorganized even if it’s intentional. By this point, it’s hard to tell when all of these events happened in correlation to each other.
The text also states that, “”I want arsenic.” The druggist looked down at her. She looked back at him, erect, her face like a strained flag… law requires you to tell what you are going to use it for.” Miss Emily just stared at him, her head tilted back in order to look him eye for eye, until he looked away and went and got the arsenic and wrapped it up” (Faulkner). It’s very suspenseful as the reader doesn’t know why Emily wanted poison. The story follows up by saying she’ll kill herself, but she doesn’t. It’s not revealed until the very end of the story that she possibly used the arsenic to murder Homer.


You can find answer keys for other grade 12 topics below:

=> HOME BURIAL Commonlit Answers

=> A GOOD MAN IS HARD TO FIND Commonlit Answers


Note: In case, you have anything to share related to this topic let us know through the comment box below.



In CommonLit, “A ROSE FOR EMILY” is one of the students’ favorite lessons prepared by William Faulkner for grade 12 students.

In this lesson, you’ll practice analyzing how an author’s use of a particular story element affects the meaning of the story as a whole.


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