Miss Emily Grierson was born into an affluent aristocratic southern family. Tradition and ladylike behavior were imperative. Reputation is everything, and a lady's good name is to be spotless. She never married because her father didn't approve of any of the suitors who came to call on her in his living years.
Homer Baron is a Yankee. He is crude, unpolished, uncultured, and loud. Everything a southern gentleman is not. He came south as a result of the carpetbagging situation, which many northern men did in order to take advantage of widows and other hapless victims of the War of Northern Aggression. He was not to be accepted, nor was he going to be allowed to ruin her reputation, which is why he is still in the bed in her upstairs room.