In "A Rose for Emily," how did Emily's strand of hair reach the room when it was undisturbed for 40 years?
While the upstairs bedroom was in an area of the house "which no one had seen for forty years," the narrator only means that no one else in the town had seen it. Miss Emily--and possibly her manservant, Tobe--both had full run of the house, and we know that she must have visited the bedroom because of the color of her hair, which did not turn "iron-grey" until her later years. I don't believe the word "undisturbed" is used in the story, and although the inside of the room in which Homer's remains were found is virtually unchanged, the pillow that lay beside Homer reveals "the indentation of a head" and the "iron-grey hair." Although we don't know how often Emily visited the room--or lay down beside Homer--it is evident that she had spent some time on the bed during her final years because of the color of the hair.