The primary theme within "A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner is the idea of tradition versus change. Through the course of the main character's death within the story, the power of death is also a dominant theme.
The main character, Emily, is described and defined as a traditional individual throughout the story. However, the theme of tradition versus change is identified as she is faced with a society experiencing radical change. The foreshadowing of Emily's death within the literary work displays the powerful hold death has on the character as she succumbs to the tragic fate slowly through Faulkner's descriptions.