There is a room upstairs no one has seen for over forty years. What do the townspeople find there?

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Susan Hurn eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Your question suggests William Faulkner's story, "A Rose for Emily." After Emily Grierson's death, some of the men of Jefferson open an upstairs bedroom that no one had seen for many years. (In fact, no one from the town had been inside Emily's house for many years.) What they found, after breaking down the bedroom door, was shocking. The room had been decorated as if it were a bridal chamber:

A thin, acrid pall as of the tomb seemed to lie everywhere upon this room decked and furnished as for a bridal: upon the valance curtains of faded rose color, upon the rose-shaded lights, upon the dressing table, upon the delicate array of crystal and the man's toilet things backed with tarnished silver, silver so tarnished that the monogram was obscured. Among them lay a collar and tie, as if they had just been removed, which, lifted, left upon the surface a pale crescent in the dust. Upon a chair hung the suit, carefully folded; beneath it the two mute shoes and the discarded socks.

In the bed, the men found the decayed remains of the man himself. On the pillow next to his head was a long gray hair. This final macabre detail tells the tale of what happened to Miss Emily's suitor, Homer Barron, who had disappeared many years before. Emily had murdered Homer to keep him from leaving her. She had then slept beside his corpse, apparently for the rest of her life.

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A Rose for Emily

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