Analyze the context of this passage from section 5 the story "A Rose for Emily": "They waited until Miss Emily was decently in the ground before they opened it."

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In the quoted sentence from “A Rose for Emily,” “it” refers to a used upstairs bedroom in Emily’s house, and the narrator is referring to the townspeople’s inspection of the room after her death and burial. The phrase “decently in the ground” means buried.

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In the quoted sentence from “A Rose for Emily,” “it” refers to a used upstairs bedroom in Emily’s house, and the narrator is referring to the townspeople’s inspection of the room after her death and burial. The phrase “decently in the ground” means buried.

In the previous sentence, using the pronoun we, the narrator implies membership in the the group that entered the room. In the paragraph before the quoted sentence, the narrator describes how Emily was laid out in the living room, where the townspeople came to view her body or chatted in groups outside. As the elderly people reminisce about earlier points in the town’s history, the narrator muses on the nature of time.

This musing connects with the sentence just before the quoted one, which states that the upstairs room had been closed for forty years. The narrator also takes it for granted that the townspeople had the right to enter any room in her house, saying it “would have to be forced,” which is clarified in the next sentence as “breaking down the door.”

The paragraph that follows extends the focus on death by comparing the room to a tomb. The narrator describes numerous details of the dusty room, including male garments, before continuing to describe the body they found—presumably that of Homer. The shock of the discovery is emphasized by a short paragraph of just one sentence: “The man himself lay in the bed.”

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