In "A Rose for Emily", who is dead in the bed at the end when it says, "The man himself lays in the bed".  Who is it?

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

At the end of the short story, the town attends Emily Grierson's funeral. Afterward, some members of the town enter her home, which no one except her black servant has entered in many years. Several community members break down Emily's attic door to discover a room filled with dust and the skeleton of a man resting on the bed. Upon further inspection of the bed, the townspeople notice an indentation on the pillow next to the skeleton and find a strand of iron-gray hair. The skeleton is the remains of Homer Barron, and the iron-gray hair belongs to Emily Grierson. Homer Barron was Emily's former lover, who was poisoned by Emily. Throughout the short story, Faulkner foreshadows Homer Barron's death by describing the awful smell permeating from Emily's home and illustrating her purchase of arsenic.

ask996 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The dead body is that of Homer Baron, the fiance, that the townspeople thought had abandoned Miss Emily. She poisoned him with the arsenic that she bought from the pharmacist, and then she kept his body in the house. That would be the smell that the town's fathers dealt with when they snuck around in the dark sprinkling lime around the house. The presence of a long, gray hair indicated that Miss Emily had slept, for quite some time at least, with the body of her dead fiance.

rhesajanubas | Student

it is the body of homer barron. he isn't emily's fiance. they were not engaged. emily poisoned him because she doesn't wan't homer to go. homer isn't a marrying man as said in the story, thus when the construction of the sidewalk is done, homer has to go and leave emily but emily did not want that to happen so she killed homer barron.

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A Rose for Emily

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