William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily is about a poor and unfortunate woman, named Emily, who leads a very personal and lonely life. The theme and story revolves around the secret life of Emily Grierson. The story takes place in the South and reflects the attitudes and lifestyle of the old South.
The story begins by the new governor of Jefferson sending a deputation to Emily's home to collect her taxes; but, Emily refuses by saying "See Colonel Sartoris . . . I have no taxes in Jefferson" (178). This is true because the ex-Governor of Jefferson had remitted her taxes after her father's death. Emily was desperate for companionship and hoped to marry soon. When Emily's last chance for matrimony disappears, she kills him and sleeps with the decaying body for days. She eventually turns into a pariah, and the townspeople report hardly seeing her at all. Undoubtedly, her father death causes her the greatest amount of turmoil. She goes so far as to deny the death of her father to herself and to the many people who had come to give her condolences on the day after his death.
The mood then shifts for a while when Miss Emily discovers a new love interest whose name is Homer Barron. Her new suitor soon leaves her. Her kind aunt from Alabama arrives at the request of the governor's wife, and they arrange for a wedding with Homer Barron. She buys a man's toilet set in silver, with the letters "H.B." initialed on each piece and an outfit of men's clothing, and Homer Barron was soon back with Emily. Nobody ever sees much of Homer after he walks into Miss Emily's home; and, at the end of the book, after Emily Grierson dies, we find out why nobody ever saw him again. Miss Emily had previously bought some arsenic, that was to be used as rat poison, and decides to use it on Homer and kills him.
By explaining her upbringing by a stern father and her slow journey through a secluded life to her death, Faulkner shows how