One example of this comes when Miss Emily refuses to pay her taxes, and a "deputation" representing the Board of Alderman pays her a visit in the hopes of collecting the money she owes. Miss Emily refuses to pay, declares that the former mayor, Colonel Sartoris (long dead) had remitted her taxes "into perpetuity," and rudely orders them from her house. Emily displays her typically haughty attitude as an aristocratic Grierson, once again showing that
... the Griersons held themselves a little too high for what they really were.
It is a battle between the old and new factions of Jefferson. Colonel Sartoris, a Civil War veteran and leading citizen of the old guard, rewards Emily's father--a fellow Jefferson aristocrat--by allowing him to live tax-free. He concocts a story that the town is repaying a loan given by Grierson:
Only a man of Colonel Sartoris' generation and thought could have invented it, and only a woman could have believed it.
The "newer generation" no longer holds with such traditions, and to them, Emily is now a "duty... a hereditary obligation upon the town." Their attempt to collect is rejected, however, and Emily wins this round in the battle of old vs. new.