In "A Rose for Emily," what do you think the "long iron-grey hair" found on the pillow next to Homer's body symbolizes?

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Miss Emily was desperate to hold on to something in her life. Her father, the focus of much of her life, was gone, the town was modernizing, and her family wanted little to do with her aside from making decisions about the morality of her choices.

Homer breathed life into...

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Miss Emily was desperate to hold on to something in her life. Her father, the focus of much of her life, was gone, the town was modernizing, and her family wanted little to do with her aside from making decisions about the morality of her choices.

Homer breathed life into her otherwise dull and dreary existence. Not only was he exciting, but her relationship with him was scandalous. When he wanted to leave, because he was not interested in marriage, Miss Emily could not take another loss and killed him.

She did not kill him out of malice, however. She killed him to keep him with her. This is made clear by the presence of the "long iron-grey hair" on the pillow next to Homer's body. That along with "the indentation of a head," on the second pillow, indicates that Miss Emily spent time lying next to Homer's body in an attempt to ease her loneliness.

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The "long iron-grey hair" belongs to Emily. She had killed Homer many years before, most likely with the poison she had purchased. There had been talk that Homer was leaving Emily and that he wasn't the marrying kind of man, so the only way Emily could keep him was to kill him. All of these years, she had been sleeping by Homer's corpse.

This gruesome end of the story demonstrates how desperate Emily was to have someone in her life. She was lonely, and she needed someone to love her and someone for her to love. When her father died, she wouldn't allow his body to be removed for three days. His overprotection of her left her without anyone after he died. She replaced that love of her father with Homer.

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