In William Faulkner's story "A Rose for Emily" is Emily Grierson guilty of murdering Homer Barron? And what is the evidence?

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ask996 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

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In his short story, “A Rose for Emily,” William Faulkner does not tell us that Miss Emily Grierson killed Homer Barron. Rather he provides clues, but a diligent reader can quite easily make that inference. One clue is the discussion that Miss Emily has with the pharmacist in which she is buying rat poison. When he questions her, she gives him a cold, hard look, and he questions her no further. There is the smell of which the citizens of the town complained, but which the founding fathers chose not to confront. Thus, the snuck out one night, and they poured lime out around her foundation in order to cut down on the odor. In most cases, 2+2=1. The reader can also infer that her intent was not to get rid of Homer but rather to hold on to him. This is indicated at the end of the story when Homer’s remains are found, and in the bed next to the corpse was a long gray hair which indicated the length of time and her age when she last lay with Homer.