In "A Rose for Emily," besides Homer, what other "forces" are in the conflict with Emily?Emily is the protagonist. In the sense that he opposes her wishes, Homer is the antagonist.

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booboosmoosh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One of the primary sources of opposition that Miss Emily faces is found in Emily's father who dismisses any potential suitors Miss Emily might have had. Her father is of the Old South, where the father and husband (or even brother) exercised complete control over wives, daughter and even sisters. It is because of Emily's father that she never marries, although she did come from a strongly rooted family not just of the South, but within her community, in the town of Jefferson.

A second force that opposes Miss Emily is the community itself. When Miss Emily's father dies, and she insists that he is still alive, the community has to force Emily after three days to relinquish her father's body, and the funeral takes place quickly thereafter.

When a group of civic leaders comes to her house to collect taxes, Miss Emily gets the upper hand, turning them away with news that the [deceased] Colonel Sartoris had excused her from taxes. It seemed that he had taken pity on this single, rather poor woman, pretending the county owed the family money from a past loan, and…

...remitted Miss Emily’s taxes “in perpetuity”...

Community vs isolation is a strong theme in this story, but while the community is very interested in Miss Emily, and often times is faced with problems that need to be addressed with her, Miss Emily not only remains isolated, but she always seems to get her way, while the members of Jefferson are forced to accommodate her.

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A Rose for Emily

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