The author never gives an exact description of the relationship between Emily and her father. He just gives hints here and there to a hard, aristocratic man. The author tells us that the Grierson's always seemed to think they were better than anyone else, and that none of the men were good enough for Emily. The father chased men away from the house just like Emily herself did. There is one image the author gives of the father standing in the doorway as an imposing figure holding a horsewhip with Miss Emily in the background.
All of these harsh, aristocratic qualities seemed to be passed from the father to Miss Emily which the author tells us kept her from marrying when she was younger, and kept her as an unmanageable, mysterious icon in the town once the father had passed away. Whatever the relationship, the father had made her what she was indicated by the author's statement that the "quality of her father which had thwarted her woman's life so many times had been too virulent and too furious to die."