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The narrator recalls that this was when "people had begun to feel really sorry for her." He discusses how they had, in a way, resented the Griersons as being too high-and-mighty, and so when Miss Emily reached the age of thirty and was still unmarried, they felt "not pleased exactly, but vindicated." When the ladies of the town went to the house to call on Miss Emily the day after her father's death, Miss Emily told them that her father was not dead.
The Board of Aldermen met to discuss what to do, and rather than confront Miss Emily, as the young one suggested, they sneak over to her house and sprinkle lime around.
As they crossed the lawn to leave, a light came on, and they saw Miss Emily in the window.
Homor Barron was the gregarious foreman, and the townspeople began to observe him in Miss Emily's company driving on Sundays. Her kinsfolk should come to her."Then the narrator tells the story of when Miss Emily went to the druggist to request "some poison." The conversation between Miss Emily and the druggist is related word for word, and the druggist gives her the poison while strongly implying that it should only be used "for rats and such." When the package is delivered to her, "For rats" is written on it.
The women of the town began to say that her riding around in the buggy with Homer Barron, with no intention of marriage, was a "disgrace to the town and a bad example to the young people." The Baptist minister called upon her, but left and refused to return; his wife wrote to Miss Emily's family in Alabama a week later.
The townspeople did not say she was crazy then, because they assumed she had to "cling to that which had robbed her" of a married life, since her father had driven away her suitors.
The narrator follows chronologically now, to the arrival of the construction company to pave the sidewalks.Miss Emily, the main character in this short story, is an example of a time that once was.“Miss Emily had been a tradition, a duty, and a care; a sort of hereditary obligation upon the town”(362).The narrator of this story is the voice of the town rather than a specific person.The story begins with a recounting of when Miss Emily Grierson died, and how the whole town went to her funeral.This is one case of a important person leaving Miss Emily’s life.Another character that plays a main part in Emily’s life is a man named Homer Barron.The women of the town went mostly out of curiosity to see the inside of her house, which is "a big, squarish frame house that had once been white, decorated with cupolas and spires and scrolled balconies in the heavily lightsome style of the seventies, set on what had once been our most select street."The reader then gets a explanation of why Miss Emily had been a "hereditary obligation upon the town." In 1894, the mayor, Colonel Sartoris, remitted her taxes after the death of her father.When the next generation came into office, the Board of Alderman had a meeting to decide how to collect taxes from Miss Emily, who was in the habit of not paying them.After that, Miss Emily did not leave the house for six months.For a period of "six or seven years" when she was about forty years old, Miss Emily gave china-painting lessons to "the daughters and granddaughters of Colonel Sartoris' contemporaries." Then the students stopped coming.