After Miss Emily's funeral, the people of Jefferson discover an old, rotted corpse in a closed room in Emily's house. This corpse belonged to Homer Barron, a character who died almost forty years before the day his body was found. The corpse was found lying in a bed with a deep impression beside him on the pillow, where it is implied that Emily would lay beside him.
The discovery of Homer's body ties together several loose ends in Emily's history. It proves that the arsenic that she purchased was used to poison Homer. She was in love with him, but the story implies he was gay—at the very least, he was disinterested in marrying her. It also proves that the terrible smell that townspeople had chosen to cover up with lime was actually the smell of Homer's rotting body. Finally, this discover leaves the reader wondering if the townspeople really never put all this together for themselves.
Following Miss Emily's funeral, the citizens of Jefferson explore her home and enter the mysterious room...
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