In "A Rose for Emily," what does Miss Emily's relationship with the people in the town reveal about them?  

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troutmiller eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The people in town seem to be quite taken with Miss Emily.  They are constantly following her "story" almost in an obsessive way.  The ladies in town are so distraught by her relationship with Homer.  It's a disgrace to the town to have one of "their own" southerners dating a Yankee.  The older men in the town feel the same way and think it's an outrage. The younger genereation, however, sees it a little differently.  They are more flexible with society's rules.  Because of this mixture of feelings in town, it seems as if Emily is their entertainment over the years.  They watch to see what she does next.  She taught the painting for a while, but that was about it. She never comes out, and they wonder about what she's doing and what is in that house.  All the way up to the end, the town wants to see inside that house of hers.  They do get what they want in the end, though.  They find the skeleton in her bed.  Since the town acted like a nosy, little, old lady, it got what it deserved in the end.  The shock of their lives.

The fact that she had no relationship with anyone in town shows that they are all not as "proper" as one would think.  The act aloof and of a higher class, yet they do petty things like gossip and spread rumors.

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A Rose for Emily

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