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By the time she meets Homer Barron, Miss Emily Grierson is already an old maid by Southern standards. Her father had always discouraged her previous suitors, believing that none of them were good enough for her. Her chances of ever marrying in Jefferson were slim, but when Homer came to town to supervise the construction of the town's new sidewalks, Emily recognized that this newcomer was a likely choice for marriage. Despite being a common Yankee laborer, Homer was Miss Emily's last best chance at matrimony. Her father would certainly not have approved, since Homer was neither Southern nor did he come from a wealthy or aristocratic family. Although Homer was single, and he had boasted that he was not the marrying type, he was an outgoing and cheerful sort, and Emily must have thought that he was worth trying to change.
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