What did other people think of Miss Emily in "A Rose for Emily"?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Miss Emily has no close friends and she rarely leaves her house except during the short time that she was being courted by Homer Barron. We do know that many people in Jefferson think that

... the Griersons held themselves a little too high for what they really were.

People in Jefferson thought of her as a "fallen monument" and a "curiosity."

Alive, Miss Emily had been a tradition, a duty and a care; a sort of hereditary obligation upon the town...

When the authorities came to her home to collect back taxes, she was rude and unfriendly, ordering her servant, Tobe, to show them the way out. Others were happy that she had become "humanized" after her father's death, and they "felt sorry for her" after the episode of "the smell." The townspeople knew that insanity ran in the family, but

We did not say she was crazy then.

When Emily began seeing Homer, some people were happy for her, but they soon began whispering that "she was fallen." They believed that she

... demanded more than ever the recognition of the dignity of being the last Grierson...

Yet they held out hope that she would eventually persuade Homer to marry her. But when the two were seen, unchaperoned, on Sundays, the believed that

... it was a disgrace to the town and a bad example to the young people.

Following her death, she was remembered fondly by the older members of the town,

... talking as if she had been a contemporary of theirs, believing they had danced with her and courted her, perhaps.

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A Rose for Emily

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