What are the problems, solutions and results in "A Rose for Emily"?

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pmiranda2857 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"A Rose for Emily," is a story about Emily Grierson, a woman who was raised in the old South, before the Civil War, by a dominating and controlling father.  The story is told in flashbacks, beginning with Emily's funeral.

Emily was raised as an aristocrat by a father who felt that no suitor or young man was good enough for his daughter.  As a result, Emily remains unmarried. Her life changes when the South loses the war.   When her father dies, she cannot part with his corpse.  The townspeople must convince her to bury him. 

Alone and isolated, Emily continues to live in her deteriorating house. One day she notices a Yankee worker named Homer Barron.  She starts taking rides in her carriage with him, but sadly, he prefers the company of men.  Emily buys arsenic, "to kill rats." 

Her family and the townspeople believe that Homer and Emily will soon be married.  Emily goes to town and buys clothing for a man, along with a toilet set, engraved with HB. However, one day Homer simply disappears, everyone believes he jilted Emily and went home to the North.

Emily is not seen for a long time, when she emerges, she is old and gray.  When she dies, another corpse, that of Homer Barron, probably a victim of arsenic, is found on a bed. Next to him on the other pillow a strand gray hair is discovered, suggesting that she slept next to his dead body for years.   

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