In "A Rose for Emily," why does Emily kill Homer? In "A Rose for Emily," why does Emily kill Homer?

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Emily has a hard time letting go of people she is close to. When her father died, she refused to admit he was dead and kept people away from his body for three days. We're really can't say for certain that she did kill Homer. There's plenty of circumstantial evidence that would probably get her convicted at trial. However, the narrator never comes right out and says that she poisoned him. The narrator describes the body as having "once lain in the attitude of an embrace." Could he have died of a heart attack? Regardless of how he died, by keeping the body, Emily can continue to have a loved one close to her.

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Emily kills Homer because he will not marry her. Earlier in the story the author points out that he "likes men", implying Homer was gay. Since Emily sees Homer as probably her last chance at marriage, she kills him and keeps his body in her home. In fact, the last line of the story says that, after the townspeople opened the door to a room decorated as a bridal or honeymoon suite, they looked at the bed and saw a "long strand of iron gray hair" next to Homer's body. Emily's hair had not turned gray until after Homer's disappearance so the implication is she had slept with the body. Creepy, huh!

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