The two stories share a theme of isolation. Sarty is isolated from the other children in the town because of his father’s reputation as well as his father teaching him that other people are not to be trusted. The townspeople pass judgment on the Snopes family and find them wanting. Emily has almost no contact with anyone in the town where she lives. Her father has taught her that she is too good for any of the men in Jefferson. The townspeople pass judgment on Emily because of her relationship with Homer, and likewise find her lacking.