What happened to Homer Barron in "A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner?

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"A Rose for Miss Emily" by William Faulkner is set in the post-Civil War South and features one primary character, Miss Emily Grierson. Despite the fact that the war is over, Miss Emily is an old-world southern belle. She has been trained well by her father that people of gentility, and especially ladies, are never to deal with anything unpleasant. Not surprisingly, this becomes a source of conflict for everyone in this story--everyone except Miss Emily, that is. 

Her father's requirements for Miss Emily's suitors were so stringent that no one was ever deemed good enough to marry her. Once her father dies, Miss Emily is so struck with grief, and perhaps something else, that she refuses to let the authorities take her father for several days after his death. 

All of this leaves Miss Emily a very lonely woman, so when she finds Homer Barron, the townspeople are glad for her, at first, despite Homer Barron's occupation. He is what is known as a carpetbagger.

After the war, the South obviously had to be rebuilt, and companies came in droves from the North to take advantage of the work opportunities. These people became known as carpetbaggers and were scorned by southerners for taking advantage of their weakened economic condition. Despite that, these workers were essential in rebuilding the war-torn South.

Miss Emily's town hires a company to rebuild its sidewalks, and Homer Barron's company gets the job. He is the foreman of the company, and his job is to oversee the project. Of course he is a Yankee, which immediately makes him a suspicious character. He is also

a big, dark, ready man, with a big voice and eyes lighter than his face. The little boys would follow in groups to hear him cuss the riggers, and the riggers singing in time to the rise and fall of picks. Pretty soon he knew everybody in town. Whenever you heard a lot of laughing anywhere about the square, Homer Barron would be in the center of the group.

Clearly Homer Barron is an affable man, and soon he and Miss Emily are spotted around town on Sunday afternoons, riding in a hired buggy.

Soon, though, the talk changes, and the gossip claims that she is a "fallen woman." Everyone not only pities her but is morally outraged at what seems to be her illicit affair with Homer Barron--a Yankee carpetbagger. It is a disgraceful situation, but Miss Emily still earns their pity because Homer Barron has proclaimed that he is not a "marrying man."

One day Miss Emily buys some arsenic and everyone assumes she is going to commit suicide. No one stops her. Soon she also buys a toilet set (comb, brush, mirror) with H.B. engraved on them, as well as a set of clothing, including a nightshirt. Everyone assumes the couple is getting married, but no one sees Homer Barron again.

Once Miss Emily dies, people enter her house. All we know for sure is that...

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Homer Barron is dead and his body has been kept in an upstairs bedroom of Miss Emily's house. His body, dressed in a nightshirt, has decomposed into the bed. Nearby is the clothing and toilet set Miss Emily bought for him.

Though the bed is covered with dust now, it is evident to the townspeople who have come to gawk that at one time Homer Barron had lain on his side, as if engaged in a lover's embrace. Even more disturbing to them is what they found on the other side of the bed. The pillow contained a long, silver hair, and it is evident that Miss Emily had lain in her dead lover's embrace, at least for some time. 

She poisoned him so he would not leave her.

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In "A Rose for Emily" what happened to Homer Barron ?

This answer can be found by a very close reading of the text, and through using inference.  It is never directly stated what happened to Homer, although there are many, many clues scattered throughout all of the text itself.  You have to read in-between the lines, and piece everything together in order to puzzle out the answer.

Take the timeline for instance.  Emily meets Homer, they spend a lot of time together, but the townspeople know that he is not the "marrying type," and that he has told people that he prefers the company of men instead of women.  So, we can guess from this that Emily likes the guy, but that there is no hope for romance there.  Then, she goes out and buys a vanity set that is engraved with his initials, AND she buys rat poison.  Homer goes to her house one day, and then is never seen again.  Soon thereafter, there is a nasty smell emanating from Emily's house.  Put all of these clues together, and we can assume that Homer rejected Emily, and that she killed him with rat poison, and that his rotting body was in the house.  Those clues, all put together, lead us to that conclusion.

The ending of the story only confirms those suspicions.  The townspeople go into the upper bedroom and find a decayed corpse on the bed.  In the room is the engraved vanity set that Emily got for Homer, and next to the body, is a strand of Emily's gray hair on an indented pillow.  These clues lead us to believe that she did indeed kill Homer, and then spent time lying next to his corpse on the bed.  Kind-of gross, and if you pair it with her previous refusal to let her dead father's body leave the house, it is consistent with her behavior.

Emily was afraid of rejection, and of being alone, and she took that fear to horrifying new heights.  It takes a lot of work piecing together clues to figure out what happened to the unfortunate Homer Barron.  I hope that helped; good luck!

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What happened to Homer Barron in "A Rose for Emily"?

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In Faulkner's story "A Rose for Emily," what happens to Homer Barron?

The story can be confusing, yes, because it is told in flashbacks.  This is to aid in the effect of the surprise ending.  

Miss Emily meets Homer Barron, a Northerner and a blue collar worker who is seen to be "beneath" her, and he "courts" her.  Emily doesn't care that the townspeople and her relatives do not approve of the relationship.  It is alluded to in the story that Homer Barron is homosexual, as well, so the reader gets the impression that this relationship may not last.  Homer sneaks into the back door of her home one evening after her relatives have left and he is never seen again.  Because Miss Emily bought arsenic at one point in the story, the reader can assume, once we find out that he is dead, that Miss Emily poisoned him with this arsenic.  Hope this helps!

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In Faulkner's story "A Rose for Emily," what happens to Homer Barron?

Homer returns to Jefferson three days after Emily’s cousins leave, and he is seen entering her home. He is never seen (alive) again. However, what is presumably his corpse is discovered in a ghastly bridal suite on the top floor of the Grierson house after Emily’s funeral.

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